Reducing Stigma

Addiction is a brain disease that can be treated, yet addiction is incorrectly viewed and understood as a moral weakness or character flaw. The use of negative demoralizing language when describing addiction creates barriers to treatment and affects individuals needing compassion and support. Changing your language and using supportive non-judgmental language can make a difference in someone’s treatment journey as well as your own understanding of the disease.

Instead of saying this...

  • Addict
  • Junkie
  • Drug Abuser
  • Habit
  • Abuse
  • Former Addict
  • Clean
  • Dirty

say this!

  • Person with substance use disorder
  • Person in active use
  • Patient
  • Substance Use Disorder/ SUD
  • Use/Misuse
  • In recovery
  • Negative Test, in recovery,
  • Testing positive/ active use