• Abstinence - Refraining from drug use.

  • Binge - A lengthy episode of very heavy drinking that produces extreme intoxication.

  • Cognitive - A person's thought processes.

  • Community - A broad group of people (who may live close together, but do not necessarily live in the same area), who share common social structures and goals and engage in a wide range of activities in an interdependent, mutually advantageous, and empowering manner.

  • Compulsive drug use - Frequent daily doses and experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

  • Depressants - Drugs that slow down the brain and central nervous system.

  • Drug - Within the context of this course a drug is a substance that produces a psycho-active effect which involves changes in mood or behaviour due to alterations in the brain function.

  • Drug dependence - Anyone who relies on and regularly seeks out effects of a drug can be considered to be dependent on that drug to some degree. Drug dependence occurs when a drug becomes central to a person's thoughts, emotions and activities. A dependent person finds it difficult to stop using the drug or even to cut down on the amount used. Dependence has physiological and psychological elements.

  • Experimental drug use - Single or short-term use of a drug.

  • Hallucinogens - Drugs that act on the brain to distort perception, i.e. sight, taste, touch, sound, smell.

  • Harm minimisation - Harm minimisation is the primary principle underpinning the National Drug Strategy and refers to policies and programs aimed at reducing drug-related harm. It encompasses a wide range of approaches including abstinence-oriented strategies. Both legal and illegal drugs are the focus of Australia's harm minimisation strategy. Harm minimisation includes preventing anticipated harm and reducing actual harm.

  • Harm-reduction - Harm reduction aims to reduce the impact of drug-related harm on individuals and communities. It includes those strategies designed to reduce the harm associated with drug use without necessarily reducing or stopping use. Top of page

  • Health promotion - The process of enabling people to improve their health

  • Intensive drug use - High doses – binge.

  • Intersectoral collaboration - Coordination of interventions by agencies from different sectors or industries

  • Intervention - A purposeful activity designed to prevent, reduce or eliminate AOD use at an individual, family or community level.

  • Intoxication - Any alteration whatsoever in our perception, mood, thinking processes and motor skills as a result of the impact of a drug(s) on our central nervous system.

  • Overdose - The use of a drug in an amount that causes acute adverse physical or mental effects. Overdose may produce transient or lasting effects and can sometimes be fatal.

  • Poly-drug use - The use of more than one psycho-active drug, simultaneously or at different times. The term 'poly-drug user' is often used to distinguish a person with a varied pattern of drug use from someone who uses one kind of drug exclusively.

  • Prevention strategies - Interventions which aim to prevent people from taking up drugs (eg reducing tobacco sales to minors) and to prevent those using AOD from using AOD in a harmful way (e.g. promoting safe levels of drinking).

  • Protective factors - Those factors that enhance the coping abilities of a young person thus increasing active participation in community activities and decreasing susceptibility to adverse consequences.

  • Psychotherapy - Non-pharmacological treatment of psychiatric disorders utilising a wide range of strategies, from simple education and supportive counselling to insight-oriented, dynamically based therapy.

  • Recreational drug use - Controlled use in a social setting.

  • Resilience - Ability of an individual to face particular difficulties (such as abusive situations, living in poor conditions and having a non supportive family), yet not necessarily go on to develop problem/risk behaviours. It describes the capacity of a person to respond in a positive way to the risks, stresses, and adversities of life.

  • Risk taking - Refers to risks that could be associated with AOD use, apart from the drug use itself. In an assessment, involves identifying factors such as sharing injecting equipment, being intoxicated in dangerous places (e.g. near a railway track, having unprotected sex while intoxicated).

  • Stakeholders - An individual or group who holds an interest or stake in the issue under investigation.

  • Stimulants - Drugs that speed up the brain and nervous system.

  • Withdrawal symptoms - Symptoms that can occur when a person using a drug over a prolonged period reduces or ceases use.