Words Matter

In an effort to reduce stigma, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is recommending government employees and contractors use new language to describe people addicted to drugs and alcohol. The updated language exchanges “drug abuser” for “person with substance use disorder” and “clean” for “in recovery.”
An essay in the Journal of the American Medical Association by National Drug Control Policy Commissioner Michael Botticelli and former US Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh explains the reasoning behind the changes. Stigma isolates those suffering from addiction, they write, and “discourages [them] from coming forward for treatment.”
Pacific Standard

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