SAY THIS. NOT THAT.
Person in active addiction
Person with a substance misuse disorder
Person experiencing an alcohol/drug problem
Why it works: these modifiers give identity to individuals as people, rather than labeling them by their illness.
Substance misuse disorder
Alcohol and drug disorder (or disease)
Why it works: TBy incorporating disorder or disease, these terms reinforce the medical nature of the condition
Person who misuses alcohol/ drugs
Has a mental health condition (or diagnosis)
Why it works: conveys the message that an individual's total identity is not his or her illness label, rather, he or she is a full person that happens to have the experience of mental illness.
Why it works: Indicates the patient is free from the dangerous compulsive behaviors of addiction. Less stigmatizing than “clean” or “sober” yet shows the person is no longer in active addiction.