DiscoverInsideTheBoards for the USMLE, COMLEX & Medical SchoolAddiction 101: The Language of Addiction with Dr. Alëna A. Balasanova
Addiction 101: The Language of Addiction with Dr. Alëna A. Balasanova

Addiction 101: The Language of Addiction with Dr. Alëna A. Balasanova

Update: 2021-09-10


Sections from today's episode

  • The important role language plays in our interactions

  • "The way that we talk about patients is the way that we treat them"

  • The importance of word choice

  • “remove the word ‘abuse’ from your vernacular”

  • Common terms used in the addiction space and alternative words/phrases to replace them

  • "Substance abuse should be replaced with either 'substance use' or 'substance misuse'

Today's guest

Dr. Alëna A. Balasanova is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). She is dually board certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine with specialized expertise in integrated treatment for substance use disorders co-occurring with other psychiatric conditions. After obtaining her undergraduate degree from The Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Balasanova went on to earn her MD at Harvard Medical School and completed residency training at Boston University Medical Center before joining UNMC/Nebraska Medicine in Fall 2016. As the Director of Addiction Psychiatry Education, Dr. Balasanova has developed novel educational programs for medical students, residents, fellows, and allied health professionals. She is the founder and director of the Longitudinal Integrated Mental health/Substance use Outpatient Clinic (LIMSOC), an internationally recognized clinical experience for Creighton University Psychiatry Residents. Dr. Balasanova also founded and directs Nebraska Medicine’s Outpatient Addiction Psychiatry Clinic and also developed and now co-directs the inpatient Addiction Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service at the Nebraska Medical Center. She is on Twitter at @DrPsychMD.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there is help available.

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Browse addiction resources from treatment finders to recovery groups to grief support.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Further Learning

National Institute on Drug Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) supports and conducts research across a broad range of disciplines and leads the nation in scientific research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction.

Health Management Associates

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Addiction 101: The Language of Addiction with Dr. Alëna A. Balasanova

Addiction 101: The Language of Addiction with Dr. Alëna A. Balasanova