Framing the Opioid Crisis

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Stories

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Words Matter

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Resources

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Why Words Matter!

Sometimes the words we use to describe substance use can cause stigma that hurts our community. These words shape opinions, create negative stereotypes, influence how people are treated, and can stop people from getting support.

Instead of

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Addict, Drug Abuser, Junkie, Alcoholic, Druggie, User, etc.
Person who Uses Substances
Clean/Dirty Needles
New or Sterile/Used Needles
Relapse/Lapse
Resumed Using Substances
Someone is Clean
Substance-Free, Not Using, Abstinent
Someone is Dirty
Actively Using, Using Substances
Substance Abuse/Misuse, Drug Habit
Substance Use
Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT), Opioid Replacement Therapy
Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT), Treatment