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Thunderbird Partnership Foundation

Definitions and Terminologies


The period of time that begins when a client leaves a formal treatment program and treatment professionals are no longer directly involved with the client on a regular basis for one-to-one and group counselling and therapy. The client assumes responsibility for their one recovery, hopefully with the help of their family, support groups and others.

Alcohol and Other Drug Education (alcoholism, problem drinking, and drugs):

Provision and discussion of factual information on alcohol (alcoholism, problem drinking) and drugs (addiction, drug abuse) through, for example, lectures, film or readings, in order to stimulate attitudinal and behavioural change.


Systematic procedures for the identification of a client’s major strengths and problem areas, culminating in a treatment plan and referral for assistance.

Case Management:

A process involving on-going assessment of current strengths, weaknesses and needs, planning to identify services appropriate to the particular needs of the client. The process includes the continuous monitoring and evaluation of progress and interceding on behalf of the client to ensure that the treatment system responds equitably and effectively to the needs of the client.

Co-Occurring Disorders (formerly known as Dual Diagnosis or Dual Disorders):

This refers to when an individual has co-existing mental health and substance use disorders. While these disorders may interact differently in any one person, at least one disorder of each type can be diagnosed independently of the other.

Consultation with Professional:

Relating with other professionals to assure comprehensive care for the client.

Crisis Intervention:

Those services which respond to an alcohol and/or drug abuser’s needs during acute emotional and/or physical distress.

Cultural Activities:

Activities that are of a cultural nature (i.e. sweat lodges, smudge ceremonies, beading, Elders, language, etc.).

Cultural Safety:

“Cultural safety refers to what is felt or experienced by a patient when a health care provider communicates with the patient in a respectful, inclusive way, empowers the patient in decision-making and builds a health care relationship where the patient and provider work together as a team to ensure maximum effectiveness of care. Culturally safe encounters require that health care providers treat patients with the understanding that not all individuals in a group act the same way or have the same beliefs.”(Nova Scotia Department of Health. A Cultural Competence Guide for Primary Health Care Professionals in Nova Scotia. 2005.)

Culturally safe practices include actions which recognize and respect the cultural identities of others and safely meet their needs, expectations, and rights. Alternatively, culturally unsafe practices are those that “diminish, demean or disempower the cultural identity and well-being of an individual.” (Nursing Council of New Zealand. Guidelines for cultural safety, the treaty of Waitangi, and Maori health in nursing and midwifery education and practice. Wellington: Nursing Council of New Zealand, 2002)


Recovery from the toxic effects of a drug or substance by the removal of the toxic properties of that substance.

Dual Addiction:

A condition characterized by an overwhelming desire to continue taking drugs or substances to which one has become habituated through repeated consumption, usually accompanied by a compulsion to obtain the substances.

FNMWC Framework:

First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework.


First Nations Wellness/Addictions Counsellor Certification Board. This organization changed its name on October 29, 2014 to the Indigenous Certification Board of Canada (ICBoC).


A means of gathering data and information about the progress of clients in recovery. Follow-up gathers information about clients over a period of time and is used as a measure of the effectiveness and success of the program.


A substance that causes excitation of central nervous system, characterized by hallucinations, mood changes, anxiety, sensory distortion, delusion, depersonalization.

Health Programs Support Division (HPSD):

HPSD is responsible for national coordination of most community based health programs for First Nations and Inuit communities, including the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) and the National Youth Solvent Abuse Program.

Holistic Health / Wellness:

An approach to health and wellness that encompasses the physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of an individual.

“A holistic concept of health is an integral part of a strong cultural identity. Many First Nations communities believe that the way to achieve individual, family, and community wellness (a balance of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life) is through culturally specific, holistic interventions.”(Health Canada and the Assembly of First Nations. First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework. Ottawa: Health Canada, 2015. 33.)

HOS Framework:

Honouring Our Strengths: A Renewed Framework to Address Substance Use Issues Among First Nations People in Canada.


Indigenous Certification Board of Canada. Formerly known as the First Nations Wellness/Addictions Counsellor Certification Board (FNWACCB).

Individual and Group Counselling:

The utilization of special skills to assist individual, families or groups to achieve objectives through: exploration of a problem and its ramifications, examination of attitudes and feeling, consideration of alternative solutions, and decision making.


The administrative and initial assessment procedures for admission to a treatment program.

Intake Screening:

The process by which a client is determined appropriate and eligible for admission to a particular program.

Intergenerational Trauma / Transgenerational Trauma:

Trauma that is transferred from trauma survivors to their children and further generations of their descendants through complex post-traumatic stress disorder mechanisms. The ongoing intergenerational trauma of colonialism has damaged the cultural integrity and holistic health of Indigenous people and communities. While some events and policies have affected many Indigenous people (separation from the land, dissolution of communities, oppression, Residential Schools, Sixties Scoop, marginalization, and aboriginalism), it is important to know that some communities have also experienced their own unique traumas. This means that each community will have different needs for their healing journeys.

Interpretation Services:

Providing translation through an interpretation.

Life Skills / Personal Development:

A series of activities that are taught to groups and individuals in order to enhance their social and personal skills.


Pertaining to a substance, derived from the poppy seed opium, that produces insensibility or stupor, can alter perception of pain, induce euphoria, mood changes and mental clouding.


National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program.


Describe to the client the general nature and goals of the program, the rules governing client conduct, and infractions that can lead to disciplinary action or discharge from the program, treatment costs to be borne by the client, if any, and client’s rights.

Outpatient Services:

Treatment provided on a non-residential basis, usually in regularly scheduled sessions (e.g., 1-2 hours per week).

Recreation Therapy:

Something that is fun, active and rejuvenates a person. Something that is good for a person: has healing qualities, restores an individual to what he or she was before or what the individual wants to be.


The process of recommending a person to a treatment program after conducting an assessment of them. Following treatment, some treatment programs will recommend a course of action for follow-up and after-care to the referring agency.

Reports and Record Keeping:

Charting the results of the assessment and treatment plan. Writing reports, progress notes, discharge summaries and other client-related data.


Chemicals produced from petroleum products. They are volatile, evaporate quickly at room temperature, this characteristic makes them popular as a base for products which need fast drying. Examples are: plastic cement, some glues (model air plane glue), cleaning fluids, spot removers, marking pens and typewriter correction fluid.

Solvent Use:

The deliberate inhalation of the fumes of volatile organic solvents, volatile hydrocarbons found in aerosols, all of which have psychoactive properties.


Youth Solvent Addiction Committee.


Youth Solvent Abuse Program (usually referring to a regional branch) / National Youth Solvent Abuse Program.

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