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Unread 01-26-2006, 05:37 PM   #4
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Words to avoid

Clean, Dirty (when referring to drug test results)
Problem with the terms: These words commonly are used to describe drug test results, but they stigmatize by associating illness symptoms (i.e. positive drug tests) with filth.

Preferred terminology: Negative, positive

Drug Problem
Problem with the term: By saying someone has a drug problem, the full weight is on the person with the illness. Also, by employing the singular form of both drug and problem, the term portrays the condition as an isolated issue unrelated to the other
aspects of a person’s health, relationships, etc.

Preferred terminology: problems caused by alcohol/drugs, alcohol and drug related

Habit or Drug Habit
Problem with the term: Calling substance use disorders a habit denies the medical nature of the condition and implies that resolution of the problem is simply a matter of willpower.

Preferred terminology: addiction, addictive disorder, substance use disorder, alcohol and drug disorder, alcohol and drug disease
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