We reject the language that keeps millions of Americans sick and in the shadows.
This damaging language fuels the stigma, shame and fear that keep 90 percent of those who need care from getting help. In keeping with our commitment to quality and science, we use language that is consistent with the language of science, medicine and other chronic diseases.
For the reasons described below, we choose to reject poor language and have chosen to replace it with language that:
- Is based on the fact that addiction is a chronic disease.
- Is firmly established in the fields of medicine and science.
- Removes differences between the language of addiction and the language of other chronic diseases.
- Promotes our Vision of a nation that has solved the disease of alcohol and other drug addiction.
Having said that, we will meet those who need help however we can. In other words, we will adjust to reach those who suffer from addiction. You may even see some of this “poisoned language” in our materials or website. Believe us, it isn't done without purpose and discussion. It’s done because we have a steadfast commitment to reach those who must be reached.
We're also firm believers in the power of stories and encouraging those who choose to tell theirs. We understand that some of these words may be important to emphasize a point or relay how someone felt during their addiction journey.