Word Power | Lesson 2: Addiction

Các bạn cùng Reflective English tìm hiểu kiến thức cùng các thuật ngữ liên quan đến nghiện ngập (addiction) nhé!

Not everyone that misuses a substance has an addiction. Photo: Medical News Today

Addiction is a treatable disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior. Drug and alcohol use can cause changes in the brain that lead to compulsive use, despite damage incurred to a person’s health and relationships. Genetics, mental illness and other factors make certain people susceptible to addiction.

“Addiction” is the preferred term. The term “substance use disorder” is preferred by some health professionals and is acceptable in some uses, such as in quotations or scientific contexts. “Alcoholism” is acceptable for addiction to alcohol.

Avoid words like “abuse” or “problem” in favor of the word “use” with an appropriate modifier such as “risky,” “unhealthy,” “excessive” or “heavy”. “Misuse” is also acceptable. Don’t assume all people who engage in risky use of drugs or alcohol have an addiction.

Avoid “alcoholic,” “addict,” “user” and “abuser” unless individuals prefer those terms for themselves or if they occur in quotations or names of organizations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Avoid derogatory terminology, such as “junkie,” “drunk” or “crackhead” unless in quotations. Many researchers and organizations, including the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors, agree that stigmatizing or punitive-sounding language can be inaccurate by emphasizing the person, not the disease; can be a barrier to seeking treatment; and can prejudice even doctors. Instead, choose phrasing like “he was addicted,” “people with heroin addiction” or “he used drugs”.

Examples: “Keene had trouble keeping his job because of alcoholism,” not “Keene had trouble keeping his job because he was an alcoholic.” “Yang joined other people with heroin addictions at the conference,” not “Yang joined other heroin addicts at the conference.”

Avoid describing “sobriety” as “clean” unless in quotations, since it implies a previous state of dirtiness instead of disease.

Not all compulsive behaviors, including shopping, eating and sex, are considered addictions. Gambling is the only one classified as an addiction in the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual. The World Health Organization says excessive video gaming can be an addiction.

Do not use the terms “addiction” and “dependence” interchangeably“Addiction” usually refers to a disease or disorder; “dependence” may not involve one, such as some babies born to mothers who use drugs or cancer patients who take prescribed painkillers.

The term “misuse” can be helpful in cases of legally prescribed medications, such as if a person with a painkiller prescription purposely takes too many to get high, or excessively uses medical marijuana. Such actions do not necessarily entail an addiction but can progress into one.

Source: The Associated Press Stylebook


1. addiction (to sth) /əˈdɪkʃn/ (n): [C, U] ​the condition of being unable to stop using or doing sth as a habit, especially sth harmful (sự nghiện ngập)

E.g. He is now fighting his addiction to alcohol.

2. compulsive /kəmˈpʌlsɪv/ (adj): (of behaviour) that is difficult to stop or control (khó ngừng, khó kiểm soát)

E.g. His family had been unaware of his compulsive gambling.

3. incur /ɪnˈkɜːr/ (v): (formal) if you incur sth unpleasant, you are in a situation in which you have to deal with it (chịu, mắc, bị)

E.g. She had incurred the wrath (= extreme anger) of her father by marrying without his consent.

4. susceptible (to sth) /səˈseptəbl/ (adj): [not usually before noun] very likely to be influenced, harmed or affected by sth (rất dễ bị ảnh hưởng, tác động/dễ bị tác hại)

E.g. Older people are more susceptible to infections.

5. excessive /ɪkˈsesɪv/ (adj): greater than what seems reasonable or appropriate (vượt mức, thừa)

E.g. Excessive drinking can lead to stomach disorders.

6. derogatory /dɪˈrɑːɡətɔːri/ (adj): (formal) showing a critical attitude and lack of respect for sb (xúc phạm)

E.g. I wish you wouldn’t make derogatory remarks about members of my family.

7. junkie (also junky) /ˈdʒʌŋki/ (adj): (informal) a drug addict (= a person who is unable to stop taking dangerous drugs) (người nghiện ma túy)

E.g. The toilets are often used by junkies who leave their needles lying around on the floor.

8. drunk /drʌŋk/ (n): a person who is drunk or who often gets drunk (người say rượu, người nghiện rượu)

E.g. I don’t like to take the bus at night. It’s full of drunks and crazy people.

9. crackhead /ˈkrækhed/ (n): (slang) a person who uses the illegal drug crack (người nghiện ma túy)

E.g. There were rows of streetlights knocked out by crackheads so they could do their thing in private.

10. stigmatize /ˈstɪɡmətaɪz/ (British English also stigmatise) (v): [usually passive] (formal) to treat sb in a way that makes them feel that they are very bad or unimportant (đối xử với người khác khiến họ cảm thấy kém cỏi hoặc nhỏ bé; khinh miệt)

E.g. Single mothers often feel that they are stigmatized by society.

11. punitive /ˈpjuːnətɪv/ (adj): [usually before noun] (formal) intended as punishment (nhằm trừng phạt)

E.g. There are calls for more punitive measures against people who drink and drive.

12. barrier (to sth) /ˈbæriər/ (n): a problem, rule or situation that prevents sb from doing sth, or that makes sth impossible (rào cản)

E.g. Lack of confidence is a psychological barrier to success.

13. prejudice sb (against sb/sth) ˈpredʒədɪs/ (v): to influence sb so that they have an unfair or unreasonable opinion about sb/sth (định kiến, thành kiến)

E.g. His comments may have prejudiced the voters against her.

14. sobriety /səˈbraɪəti/ (n): [U] (formal) the state of being sober (= not being drunk) (sự tỉnh táo)

E.g. The police said his car had been weaving all over the road, so they pulled him over and gave him a sobriety test.

15. interchangeably /ˌɪntərˈtʃeɪndʒəbli/ (adv): in a way that can be exchanged, especially without affecting the way in which sthworks (có thể thay đổi/hoán đổi)

E.g. These two words are almost interchangeable.

16. prescribed /prɪˈskraɪbd/ (adj): decided by a doctor as treatment (được kê đơn thuốc)

E.g. Studies have found that up to 29% of patients who take prescribed painkillers abuse them.

17. painkiller /ˈpeɪnkɪlər/ (n): a drug that reduces pain (thuốc giảm đau)

E.g. She’s on (= taking) painkillers.

18. medication /ˌmedɪˈkeɪʃn/ (n): [C, U] ​a drug or another form of medicine that you take to prevent or to treat an illness; treatment involving drugs (thuốc)

E.g. She is on medication for depression.

19. purposely /ˈpɜːrpəsli/ (adv): on purpose; deliberately (có chủ đích, cố ý, cố tình)

E.g. I purposely spoke loud enough to be overheard.

20. get high /ɡet haɪ/ (exp): take a drug to make yourself behave in a strange and excited way (phê thuốc)

E.g. They were arrested after being caught on camera dumping the 48-year-old victim’s body in the street after getting high in an apartment in July.

21. marijuana /ˌmærəˈwɑːnə/ (also marihuana) (also informal pot /pɑːt/) (n): [U] a drug (illegal in many countries) made from the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant, which gives the person smoking it a feeling of being relaxed (cần sa)

E.g. Tea and marijuana are in themselves fairly harmless, yet tea is generally legal and marijuana not.

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