Person-First Language

The words we use matter.  When discussing mental health and addiction it's tough to know what the "right" language is.  We want to be sensitive, polite and politically correct.  It's so much more than that, though.  The words we use can have an impact on people with substance use disorders.  Our language can make a difference on whether or not a person decides to seek treatment. The list below provides some alternatives to the words we commonly use or hear to show that people with substance use disorders are just that--people.  

Addict = Person with substance use disorder

Alcoholic = Person with alcohol use disorder

Drug problem, drug habit = Substance use disorder

Drug abuse = Drug misuse, harmful use

Drug abuser = Person with substance use disorder

Clean = Abstinent, not actively using

Dirty = Actively using

A clean drug screen = Testing negative for substance use

A dirty drug screen = Testing positive for substance use

Former/reformed addict/alcoholic = Person in recovery, person in long-term recovery

Opioid replacement, methadone maintenance = Medication assisted treatment

Impact Norwood