Stig·ma: powerful, negative perceptions commonly associated with substance use and addiction.
There are several kinds of stigma - self stigma, public stigma, stigma against medication and structural stigma - that cause negative attitudes, stereotypes, shame and fear toward people with addiction. Stigmatizing language can contribute to social isolation, reduced self-esteem and less likelihood to seek medical help. (Source: Shatterproof)
We can all play a part in reducing or eliminating stigma towards people with substance use disorders. A good place to start is by using person first language which puts the emphasis on the person rather than their condition. Referring to someone as “a person with substance use disorder” is much less stigmatizing than referring to someone as an “addict.” For more information on non-stigmatizing language, please reference the links on this page.