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HOW WE 
SPEAK

LANGUAGE MATTERS.

Language is powerful - especially when talking about addictions. Stigmatizing language perpetuates negative perceptions. "Person first" language focuses on the person, not the disorder.

WORDS MATTER.

  1. Be cautious of the language and labels used to describe people. Use person-first language and avoid describing people as their condition. 

  2. Seek accurate information and counter misinformation. Gathering accurate information and countering inaccuracies is important to reduce stigma .

  3. Seek intentional experiences. Research suggests that people without stigmatized conditions often have little meaningful contact with those who have these conditions. Lack of contact fosters fear and distrust. Experiences can overcome this divide.

STIGMA AROUND OPIOIDS.

Understanding opioid use disorder and the stigma that it creates is a vital step in creating a recovery process. According to the American Psychological Association, “stigma is the shame or disgrace attached to something regarded as socially unacceptable, a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.

 

https://www.apa.org/

STIGMA AROUND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER.

“Addiction-related” stigma is a powerful, shame-based mark of disgrace and reproach.

Stigma is generated and perpetuated by prejudicial attitudes and beliefs.

Stigma promotes discrimination among individuals at risk for, experiencing, or in recovery from addiction, as well as individuals associated with them.

People with substance-abuse disorders and people in recovery are ostracized, discriminated against, and deprived of basic human rights.

Individuals who are stigmatized often internalize inappropriate attitudes and practices, making them part of their self-identity.

 

https://drugabuse.com/addiction/stigma

WHEN DISCUSSING ADDICTIONS...

SAY THIS...

"Person with a substance use disorder"

NOT THIS...

"Junkie, druggie, addict..."