Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Must not call drug addicts drug addicts
White House drug czar Michael Botticelli said Thursday that using “terms like abuser and addict” to describe people with drug addictions makes it less likely that they will get treatment.
“Funding isn’t our only barrier to expanding treatment. We also have an enormous hurdle to overcome, and that’s shame and stigma,” Botticelli said.
“Stigma is an obstacle for people reaching out, reaching recovery, and living healthy and productive lives. That’s because stigma breeds prejudice, discrimination. It alienates and isolates people. It prevents them from accessing treatment and even seeking it in the first place. It says you should be ashamed because you have a disease,” he said.
“In fact, research has shown that when we use terms like abuser and addict to describe someone with a substance use disorder, that person is actually less likely to be offered treatment or to receive treatment, and often contributes to negative public policy,” he said, adding “and this stigma extends to other aspects of recovery, including housing and employment opportunities so needed for people to be stable in their recovery. “