Changing the stigma associated with opioid addiction treatment will benefit everyone. It will allow patients to more easily regain their self esteem, allow politicians to appropriate funding, allow doctors to treat without disapproval of their peers, let the public understand this is a medical condition as real as any other.
One way to combat the stigma is with the words used to describe the condition and treatments associated with it.
"...In discussing substance use disorders, words can be powerful when used to inform, clarify, encourage, support, enlighten, and unify. On the other hand, stigmatizing words often discourage, isolate, misinform, shame, and embarrass. Recognizing the power of words, this guide is designed to raise awareness around language and offer alternatives to stigmatizing terminology associated with substance use disorders. It is offered primarily as a resource to those who work within the field of prevention, treatment, and recovery support..."*
*Excerpt from "Substance Use Disorders: A Guide to the Use of Language" Prepared by TASC, Inc. under contract for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), last rev. 4.12.04
The American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Pain Society, American Society of Addiction Medicine - consensus document - February 2001, http://opi.areastematicas.com/generalidades/definicionesopiaceos.AAPM.pdf
The Rhetoric of Recovery Advocacy: An Essay On the Power of Language by William L. White
Edwin A. Salsitz, MD., FASAM articulates on Addiction Medicine vocabulary
"Substance Use Disorders: A Guide to the Use of Language" Prepared by TASC, Inc. under contract for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), last rev. 4.12.04
The Essence of Drug Addiction- By Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D., Former Director, National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health http://www.naabt.org/tl/The_Essence_of_Addiction.pdf
The Words We Choose Matter. Topic from our Online Community.
Some of the problems and misunderstandings come from ambiguous definitions of many of the common terms used in addiction medicine. In 2001, The American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Pain Society, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine recognized the following definitions of Addiction, Physical Dependence and Tolerance and recommend their use. (see source article: http://opi.areastematicas.com/generalidades/definicionesopiaceos.AAPM.pdf)
Addiction: Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving.
Physical Dependence: (Please note: Not "dependence" by itself.) Physical dependence is a state of adaptation that is manifested by a drug class specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug, and/or administration of an antagonist.
Tolerance: Tolerance is a state of adaptation in which exposure to a drug induces changes that result in a diminution of one or more of the drug's effects over time.
|NAABT "The Words We Use Matter." (PDF 196KB)
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To suppress the debilitating symptoms of cravings and withdrawal, enabling the patient to engage in therapy, counseling and support, so they can implement positive long-term changes in their lives which develops into the new healthy patterns of behavior necessary to achieve sustained addiction remission. - explain -