Language is powerful-especially when discussing alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and the people who use them.
Language matters, a new resource developed by NADA and NUAA, encourages workers to move away from outdated terms like ‘drug user’ and ‘addict’ which stigmatise people who use drugs.
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 start being more mindful and stop using these 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”.