The biggest thing I learned from the guest speaker is that there are more words that carry stigmas regarding addiction than I originally thought. At first thought, you think of words like, “crackhead,” and “junkie,” but words like addict and alcoholic are also frowned upon in reporting, and should not be used. Changing the language used in reporting addiction needs to be done sooner rather than later.

Another idea I thought was important was using person first language, instead of using someone’s addiction to describe them. Just as you wouldn’t all a person with disabilities, “handicapped,” you shouldn’t call someone in recovery an addict. Using person first language instead of describing someone by their disease is the more appropriate way to report.