Why small changes to the language around addiction are so enormously important

Article Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-addict-language-stigma-1.5417988

Discussion posted by: Arye ben-Shaoul

The word addict is ubiquitous in our society. It can be used to describe our strong inclinations or repeated actions of devotion to anything, from working out and social media, to pizza and coffee. Additionally, it’s used for behaviours that are detrimental to a person’s wellbeing, such as gambling. And to describe a person who has a tolerance to and dependency on substances such as drugs or alcohol. The way we speak to and about people who use drugs makes a difference in their outcomes, because language perpetuates stigma. And the word “addict” can be highly stigmatizing for people who are struggling with substance use.