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Words Matter

More than a decade of research has shown that negative attitudes contribute significantly to negative health outcomes and can pose a barrier to seeking treatment for mental health or substance use conditions. In addition, people often internalize these attitudes, lowering self-esteem and creating ongoing distress. A recent article by Dr. Nora Volkow and associates states that how we describe these conditions can make a significant and immediate difference for the people experiencing them.

Volkow, N. D., Gordon, J. A., & Koob, G. F. (2021). Choosing appropriate language to reduce the stigma around mental illness and substance use disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology. doi: 10.1038/s41386-021-01069-4

National Institute of Drug Abuse Press Release (July 18, 2021)