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Definitions of terms

Drug treatment comprises all structured interventions with specific pharmacological and/or psychosocial techniques aiming at reducing or abstaining from the use of illegal drugs.

Psychosocial treatment includes structured counselling, motivational enhancement, case management, care-coordination, psychotherapy and relapse prevention.

Substitution treatment refers to treatment of drug dependence by prescription of a substitute drug (agonists and antagonists) for which cross-dependence and cross-tolerance exists, with the goal to reduce or eliminate the use of a particular substance, especially if it is illegal, or to reduce harm from a particular method of administration, the attendant dangers for health (e.g. from needle sharing), and the social consequences.

Detoxification is a medically supervised intervention to resolve withdrawal symptoms. Usually it is combined with some psychosocial interventions for continued care. Detoxification could be provided as inpatient as well as a community-based outpatient programme.

A treatment unit is a physically detached or separate setting with one or more specific activities.

Outpatient treatment is treatment where the patient does not spend the night at the premises.

Inpatient treatment is treatment in which the patient spends the night in the treatment centre.

Clients refers to total number of clients during the course of the reporting year, preferably corrected for double-counting. In the specific case of Treatment Demand data

  • All clients refers to the total number of clients starting treatment for their drug use at a treatment centre during the calendar year
  • New clients refers to the total number of clients starting treatment for the first time in their life during the calendar year

Problem drug use is defined as 'injecting drug use or long duration/regular use of opiates, cocaine and/or amphetamines'.

About the EMCDDA

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is the reference point on drugs and drug addiction information in Europe. Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU's decentralised agencies. Read more >>

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Page last updated: Thursday, 05 November 2009