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De-Stigmatizing the Language of Addiction #429

Discrimination and stigmatization of patients who use psychoactive drugs or who have addiction is common in health care.1–4 Using people-first, medically accurate, and stereotype-reducing language with colleagues, trainees, and in documentation5 is fundamental to dispelling stigma6 and misperceptions, such as the myth of addiction as a willful personal choice or moral failing. The right words can convey empathy and reduce mistrust in health care for patients who have often faced a history of marginalization.


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