This workshop will give you an orientation to the language/definitions of addiction and a foundational understanding of the theories of how problematic substance use develops. Despite daily news coverage and constant conversations about it, the definition of addiction remains elusive and its meaning shifts. Stigma and misunderstanding around the word are enduring and impactful. Some theories have framed addiction as a disease, a genetic legacy, and even more disturbingly, as moral weakness. However, single theme models do not promote comprehensive understanding of problematic substance use, to the detriment of those who are in need of support. It is especially important to consider the definition, theories, and language used to describe health-threatening, stigmatized conditions such as those involving drugs and alcohol. Research shows that the effectiveness of public health policies meant to treat these issues can be impacted by the terminology used to describe them. In exploring the definition of addiction this workshop will also consider the accompanying concepts of intervention, treatment, and recovery. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of how theory informs policy, and how it might impact treatment and recovery.