The truth is that words hurt. Words impact the way people think about themselves, other people, and the future. Stigmatized language leads to job loss, painful conversations with children, and even early death in some people. For those who know someone with addiction, it’s critical to understand what to say, how to say it, and what to avoid saying that could hurt them further.
If you are struggling with addiction, an addiction treatment program at Symetria Recovery may be the key to your recovery. Our team provides a safe space that fosters encouragement and support throughout the addiction treatment process.
What Is Stigmatized Language?
Stigma is any word used to discriminate against a group. It is very common for people with a substance use disorder to face such words in daily life. Often, people don’t realize what they say can hurt. Often, these statements are unfounded or inaccurate beliefs about a person with this condition, including being dangerous or at fault for their disease.
Stigmas come from inaccurate beliefs about addiction, including that addiction is, in some way, a moral failing. Rather, addiction is a chronic disease. Yet, unlike some other conditions, addiction is treatable in the right environment.
Common Stigmatized Language to Avoid
When talking to us about a person with addiction, it’s critical to use the right terms and communicate respectfully. Recognizing that addiction is a disease, it is essential to treat it as such. Some of the key terms to avoid using to help ensure there’s less pain include:
- Don’t call a person an “addict” or a “user.” Don’t call them a junkie. Instead, call them a person with a substance use disorder.
- Avoid the terms “alcoholic” or “drunk.” Instead, use terms to describe them as people with alcohol use disorder or a person who misuses alcohol.
- Avoid the term “abuse” and instead focus on “use.” For example, a person uses alcohol rather than abuses it.
- Avoid the term “clean” when talking about non-use. Instead, talk about a person being in remission or recovery, abstinent from drug use, or simply not taking drugs or using alcohol.
- Avoid the term “dirty” to describe a person using. Instead, say they tested positive or they are using drugs.
Overcoming the stigma of addiction is at the heart of the recovery process at Symetria. That’s because if a person believes they are inferior or they are not worthy of recovery, they may not try to do so. More so, when a person continues to experience stigma like this, it can impact their overall confidence and willingness to work hard to achieve the goals they set. Support them instead.
How You Can Overcome the Stigma of Addiction
The good news is you can embrace treatment and recovery fully. You don’t have to be the victim of these beliefs and statements. Instead, take your first step by allowing our team to help you. We can often start helping you the very same day you call us. What’s more, we’re confident that our treatment programs and services can help you start to feel better on the first day. Learn more about them, including:
- Medication-assisted recovery treatment
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Family counseling programs
- Individual therapy programs
- Group therapy programs
- Intensive outpatient programs
Focus on Your Recovery with Help from Our Team
No matter what damage stigmatized language has created in your life, it’s time to focus on your recovery. Drug and alcohol addiction doesn’t have to limit your future any longer. At Symetria Recovery, we can start working with you in as little as 24 hours, helping you to feel better after your first visit with us. Let’s move beyond the limitations you’re facing now to a new path of wellness. Call us at 855.282.4819 or connect with us online.