Changing the Conversation: Transform Stigmatizing Language to Reflect the Hope of Recovery!
Person-first language is being adopted across multiple disciplines for better describing individuals with a range of disabilities or medical conditions, including substance abuse. Some examples include…
- Using the term “person with a substance use disorder” or “person with an alcohol use disorder” rather than the terms abuser, addict or alcoholic.
- Using the term “person in long-term or sustained recovery” rather than referring to the person as “clean.” The person in recovery (and there are multiple paths to recovery) exemplifies one who has engaged in a lifelong process of healthy growth and positive change.
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and Medication Supported Recovery (MSR) refers to the therapeutic use of any medication that is approved to treat substance use disorders in combination with counseling or psychosocial support. Using terms such as “replacement” or “substitution” therapies imply that the person in recovery is simply substituting one drug for another.
Help transform the conversation from the use of stigmatizing language to one of health, hope and recovery!