Reducing Stigma

Addiction is a disease, not a character flaw.

Reducing stigma starts with changing our language and accepting that addiction is a disease.

Check out this resource for more info on how you can be an ally!

Reduce Stigma Guide 

Instead of saying this...

  • Addict
  • User
  • Substance or drug abuser
  • Junkie
  • Alcoholic
  • Drunk
  • Reformed Addict
  • Habit
  • Clean
  • Dirty

Say this...

  • Person with Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
  • Patient
  • Person in Active Use (use the person’s name and then say “is in active use”)
  • Person with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
  • Person who misuses alcohol
  • Person in recovery or long-term recovery
  • Person who previously used drugs
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • Testing Negative
  • In recovery
  • Abstinent from Drugs
  • Testing Positive
  • Person who uses drugs