Why Words Matter Around Addiction

Why Words Matter Around Addiction

When people hear words like alcoholic, junkie, or addict – negative images often come to mind of people who are homeless, can’t hold down a job, or are in and out of jail.  But when these words are replaced by alternate language such as someone who is struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD), that image changes to a beloved family member, friend, or coworker.

100Klives

In 2021, substance use disorders claimed over 100,000 lives in the United States

Even though these words are all related to addiction, the stigma around them can change a person’s perception. Physicians, recovery advocates, researchers and government officials are asking that more thought be given to the words used around addiction. They hope that this will encourage people to seek treatment by removing stigma, ensuring they receive better medical treatment while changing society’s view of addiction as a medical condition instead of a moral issue.