We can be a model and help to lead the way toward ending the opioid epidemic by using language that de-stigmatizes the disease of substance use disorder.
That means using terminology that recognizes that substance use disorder is a chronic illness, not a moral failing, and people can and do recover.
I believe that the words I use in talking about substance use disorder are important in reducing stigma.
NACCHO Funding in Hampden County
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has provided an 18-month, $500,000 grant to Hampden County for the implementation of overdose prevention strategies across rural and urban parts of the county. The NACCHO grant supports the work of 4 key partners: Gandara Center, Mercy Medical Center, Quaboag Hills Substance Use Alliance, and Northampton Drug Addiction and Recovery Team (DART). The goals are to increase the use of harm-reduction strategies, increase access to appropriate treatment, and reduce the number of overdose deaths. The Public Health Institute of Western MA is providing administrative and convening support on this grant.
What we say and how we say it makes a difference.
- Person with a substance use disorder
- Substance abuser or drug abuser
- Babies with an opioid dependency
- Addicted Babies/Born Addicted
- Substance user disorder or addiction
- Use, misuse
- Risk, unhealthy, or heavy use
- Drug habit
- Person in recovery
- Not drinking or taking drugs
- Treatment or medication for addiction
- Medication for Opioid Use
- Disorder/Alcohol Use Disorder
- Substitution or replacement therapy
- Medication-Assisted Treatment
- Positive, negative (toxicology screen results)
- Clean, dirty
To gain a better understanding of substance use disorder (addiction)
- Check out these drug FAQs. (https://abovetheinfluence.com/faqs/)
- Get Involved. Does your school have a prevention club? If not, you can help start one! We’re here to help you if you are interested. Email Brandon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact us, let us know that you are interested in helping your peers make healthy choices!
- Check out upcoming events in your community.
- Get inspired by what other teens are doing to help – check out these groups.
If you have a loved one who has a substance use disorder:
More than 1 in 4 children have a parent with addiction to alcohol or drugs, you are NOT ALONE!
You didn’t Cause it. You can’t Cure it. You can’t Control it. But you can Take better Care of yourself by Communicating your feelings, Making healthy Choices & Celebrating yourself!