View Single Post
Unread 01-25-2006, 01:24 PM   #3
Senior Member
TIM's Avatar
Posts: 4,632

Words to avoid:

Problem with the term: Although this is a clinical diagnosis in the DSMIV and ICD10, this is a stigmatizing word because (1) it negates the fact that substance use disorders are a medical condition; (2) it blames the illness solely on the individual with the illness, ignoring environmental and genetic factors, as well as the drugs abilities to change brain chemistry; (3) it absolves those selling and promoting addictive
substances of any wrong doing; and (4) it feeds into the stigma experienced not only by individuals with substance use disorders, by also by family members and the treatment/recovery field. See also substance abuse.

Preferred terminology: Misuse, harmful use, inappropriate use, hazardous use, problem use, risky use, substance use disorder

Abuser, Addict, Alcoholic
Problem with the terms: These terms are demeaning because they label a person by his/her illness. By making no distinction between the person and the disease, they deny the dignity and humanity of the individual. In addition, these labels imply a permanency to the condition, leaving no room for a change in status.

Preferred terminology: Person with alcohol/drug disease, person with a substance use disorder, person experiencing an alcohol/drug problem, Patient or Person receiving services (if referring to an individual receiving treatment )
TIM is offline