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Why it’s important to stop using words like addict and drug abuser

There are many misconceptions about substance addiction, but a news organization seeks to change the way we talk about the drug epidemic.

The Associated Press released its 2017 Stylebook, which updated terms to use when writing about addiction. The changes may seem minor, but choosing appropriate terminology is an important step in understanding and treating addiction.

Jeff McMillan, lead author of the stylebook’s new entry on addiction, spoke with Slate Magazine to explain why eliminating certain words reflects research that shows addiction is a disease, not a choice. From the article:

“This may seem like a subtle change. But the intention behind it is important: to linguistically shift the blame of drug addiction away from the people afflicted. While ‘substance abuser’ equates the individual with the problem, ‘person with a substance use disorder’ suggests that it’s the addiction, rather than the person, that should carry the blame.”

That practice also aligns with Malvern Institute’s treatment approach, which offers compassion and respect to everyone with chemical dependency while providing the best clinical care available.

Read the full story at Slate.

If you or a loved one are living with addiction and have any questions about the Malvern Intervention Model or the Malvern 90-Day Model, please give us a call at 610.MALVERN (610.625.8376).

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