Language, does it matter?

Language is powerful-especially when discussing alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and the people who use them.

Language matters, is a new resource developed by the Network of Alcohol & other Drugs Agencies (NADA) and the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA).

Intended for the non government AOD sector, the resource provides workers with best-practice guidelines on how to use language to empower clients and reinforce a person-centred approach.

Larry Pierce, CEO of NADA, says: "We know that fear of stigma and being labelled as a 'drug addict' can and does stop people from accessing treatment and support. It's time we stop using this language and start being more mindful and deliberate about avoiding pejorative terms."

Language matters was developed in consultation with non government AOD workers and people who use drugs.

Mary Ellen Harrod, CEO of NUAA, concludes: "The Language matters resource will be a useful tool. Empowering people by treating them with respect is a powerful catalyst for change".

Language matters can be accessed online here.