Addiction historically has been defined with regard solely to psychoactive substances which cross the blood-brain barrier once ingested, temporarily altering the chemical milieu of the brain. Many people, both psychology professionals and laymen, now feel that there should be accommodation made to include psychological dependency on such things as gambling, food, sex, pornography, computers, video games, internet and more, so these behaviors count as 'addictions' as well. According to the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), substance dependence is defined as:
"When an individual persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed. Compulsive and repetitive use may result in tolerance to the effect of the drug and withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped.”

Alcohol Outlet Density:

Alcohol Outlet Density research has shown that neighborhoods where bars, restaurants, liquor and other stores that sell alcohol are close together, suffer more frequent incidences of violence and other alcohol–related problems.

Alcoholic Beverage:

Alcoholic Beverage is a drink containing ethanol (commonly called alcohol). Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines and spirits. Alcohol is a psychoactive drug that has a depressant effect. A high blood alcohol content is usually considered to be legal drunkenness because it reduces attention and slows reaction speed. Alcoholic beverages can be addictive, and the state of addiction to alcohol is known as alcoholism.

Alcoholic Energy Drinks:

Alcoholic Energy Drinks are prepackaged beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, and other stimulants and are the newest entries into the world of alcoholic beverages.

Binge Drinking:

Binge Drinking is the modern definition of drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. Or alternatively, a consistent amount of alcohol over a long period of time.


Cannabinoids are chemicals that help control mental and physical processes when produced naturally by the body and that produce intoxication and other effects when absorbed from marijuana.

Conditional Use Permits:

A broad tool that provides a plan for future outlets utilizing zoning codes. Can include a number of restrictions on where and how many outlets can exist (i.e. types of sales, hours sold, location & proximity of bars) and incorporate alcohol license fees.

Deemed Approved Ordinances:

Deemed Approved Ordinances exercise authority over establishments by issuing “deemed approved” permits and establishing “public nuisance standards” that pre-existing retailers must abide by in order to maintain their permit. The standards are monitored by the city through enforcement and education program which is paid for by a fee on the deemed approved outlets. The standards do not directly regulate the sale of alcohol, but rather address land use and public safety issues associated with alcohol sales, such as loitering, increased police calls, noise, graffiti, and drug sales.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI):

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol or other drugs is the act of operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol and/or other drugs. Since 2002, it has been illegal in all 50 US states to drive with a blood alcohol level (BAC) that is 0.08% or higher.

Drug Abuse Prevention:

Drug Abuse Prevention is a process that attempts to prevent the onset of substance use or limit the development of problems associated with using psychoactive substances. Prevention efforts may focus on the individual or their surroundings. A concept known as "environmental prevention" focuses on changing community conditions or policies so that the availability of substances is reduced as well as the demand.

Drugged Driving:

Drugged Driving or "have one drink for the road" was once a commonly used phrase in American culture. It has only been within the past 25 years that as a nation, we have begun to recognize the dangers associated with drunk driving. It is now time that we recognize and address the similar dangers that can occur with drugged driving.


Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States. It is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves derived from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. The main active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short. THC produces effects that potentially can be useful for treating a variety of medical conditions, including analgesic (pain relieving), anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic (nausea-preventing), antioxidant, and euphoric effects. It is the main ingredient in a pill that is currently used to treat nausea in cancer chemotherapy patients and to stimulate appetite in patients with AIDS. Long term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction; that is, compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite its known harmful effects upon social functioning in the context of family, work, school and recreational activities. Long-term marijuana users trying to quit show signs of withdrawal when they do not use the drug.


A natural or synthetic psychoactive chemical that binds to opioid receptors in the brain and body. Natural opioids include morphine and heroin (derived from the opium poppy) as well as opioids produced by the human body (e.g., endorphins); semi-synthetic or synthetic opioids include analgesics such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl.

Prescription Drug Abuse:

Prescription Drug Abuse is the intentional misuse of a medication outside of the normally accepted standards of its use.

Prescription Drug Misuse:

Prescription Drug Misuse is taking a medication in a manner other than that prescribed or for a different condition than that for which the medication is prescribed.

Prescription Medication:

Prescription Medication is a licensed medicine that is regulated by legislation to require a prescription before it can be obtained. The term is used to distinguish it from over-the-counter drugs which can be obtained without a prescription.

Responsible Alcohol Merchant Awards (RAMA):

The Responsible Alcohol Merchant Awards (RAMA) program works with local off-site alcohol merchants to assess their carding and training procedures to ensure merchants are in compliance with the law and to reward those who exhibit best practices to reduce youth access to alcohol. RAMA is a program of Santa Cruz County Friday Night Live Partnership and Project CURB (Communities United to Reduce Bingeing), and is supported by Community Prevention Partners Collaborative.

Responsible Beverage Sales and Service Training (RBSS):

Responsible Beverage Sales and Service Training (RBSS) gives retailers an understanding of state and local alcohol regulations. It serves to limit a retailer’s liability, teaches staff new skills to refuse sales to minors and intoxicated persons, assists with the specifics of store or house policies, and helps to avoid problems and penalties.

Social Host Liability:

Social Host Liability is created by a statute or case law that imposes liability on social hosts as a result of their serving alcohol to persons or minors. A social host is most often a private individual who serves alcohol in a non-commercial setting. Social host liability laws target the location in which underage drinking takes place.

Social Host Liability (Ordinance):

A legal term and area of law that deals with the liability of a person who supplies liquor to a guest. Under social host liability laws, the host shares any liability incurred as a result of actions by an intoxicated guest to whom he or she has served liquor. This law can have important implications for businesses that serve alcohol.

THC: Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol:

THC: Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the main active ingredient in marijuana, which acts on the brain to produce its effects.

Source: Ventura County Limits