WHO Lexicon of alcohol and drug terms

Definition: Refraining from drug use or (particularly) from drinking alcoholic beverages, whether as a matter of principle or for other reasons. Those who practice abstinence from alcohol are termed “abstainers”, “total abstainers”, or-in a more old-fashioned formulation-“teetotallers”. The term “current abstainer”, often used in population surveys, is usually defined as a person who has not drunk an alcoholic beverage in the preceding 12 months; this definition does not necessarily coincide with a respondent’s self-description as an abstainer.

The term “abstinence” should not be confused with “abstinence syndrome, an older term for withdrawal syndrome.See also: sobriety; temperance

 

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