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Language to Destigmatize Substance Use Disorder


One major step to destigmatizing substance use disorder is to change how we talk about it. The more we say something, the more it becomes normalized within our conversations—no matter how damaging it may be. When real people with real emotions are at the other end of these words, this becomes a problem.

For example, when people hear the term “substance abuser,” it creates a negative response that encourages judgment toward those dealing with a substance use disorder.

Addictionary by the Recovery Research Institute

The Recovery Research Institute has developed an addictionary with a variety of terms and warnings to help everyone use positive language when talking about substance use disorder. You can be a part of the solution today by taking a look at the glossary.

Access the Addictionary ›

To save the lives of others, we need stigma-reducing language.