The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a standardized terminology for substance abuse and related issues. Some of the key terms and definitions used by the WHO include:
Substance use: The use of any psychoactive substance, including alcohol and other drugs.
Substance abuse: The harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including the use of substances in situations where it is physically hazardous, or where the use of the substance leads to social, legal, or other problems.
Substance dependence: A cluster of physiological, behavioral, and cognitive phenomena in which the use of a substance takes on a much higher priority for an individual than other behaviors that once had greater value.
Harm reduction: An approach to substance abuse that aims to reduce the harms associated with drug use, without necessarily requiring abstinence.
Recovery: A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.
Stigma: A social process of devaluing, discrediting, and disempowering individuals or groups who are associated with certain behaviors, conditions, or identities, such as substance abuse.
These terms and definitions are used by the WHO to promote a common understanding of substance abuse and related issues, and to support evidence-based prevention, treatment, and support services that address the complex and multifaceted issues associated with addiction.