Beyond Recovery Exceptionalism

Oppression involves objectification and rendering the targeted person or group as the ‘other.” That distinctive “otherness” is then conveyed in caricatured images that feed stigma, social exclusion, and, in its most extreme form, genocide. The first task of the social reformer is to illuminate the humanity of those objectified and break down barriers between “they”…

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Words Matter: How Language Choice Can Reduce Stigma

This resource examines the role of language in perpetuating substance use disorder stigma, followed by tips for assessing when and how we may be using stigmatizing language, and steps for ensuring that the language we use and messages we deliver are positive, productive, and inclusive.

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The Words We Use Matter. Reducing Stigma through Language

Stigma remains the biggest barrier to addiction treatment faced by patients. The terminology used to describe addiction has contributed to the stigma. Many derogatory, stigmatizing terms were championed throughout the “War on Drugs” in an effort to dissuade people from misusing substances. Education took a backseat, mainly because little was known about the science of…

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The Language of Recovery

This fact sheet was developed to educate individuals on the importance of language and on stigmatizing words that have the ability to demean or demoralize those in or seeking recovery. This sheet draws attention to the terminology that currently causes confusion and perpetuates stigma , and it promotes the use of words that will advance…

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Stigmatization & Media

According to the 2018 World Drug Report (1) of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), About 275 million people worldwide, which is roughly 5.6 per cent of the global population aged 15–64 years, used drugs at least once during 2016. Some 31 million of people who use drugs suffer from drug use disorders,…

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Stigma and Self-Stigma in Addiction

Addictions are commonly accompanied by a sense of shame or self-stigmatization. Self-stigmatization results from public stigmatization in a process leading to the internalization of the social opprobrium attaching to the negative stereotypes associated with addiction.

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Stigma and People Who Use Drugs (PWUD)

What Can Be Done To Fight Stigma? Know the facts.The majority of people who ever try any drug do not use them problematically and do not develop a physical dependence. People who struggle with drug dependence, however, should be afforded the same dignity, respect and support as a person who struggles with any difficult issue.

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Positive Language Guidelines

The language used to describe concepts, communities, and human beings is of the utmost importance. Stigmatizing and negative language used to describe individuals who use substances, have a substance use disorder, or are in recovery can have an impact on their physical and mental health.

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