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Stories > All Unshame CA > Support & Acceptance Can Make All the Difference

Support & Acceptance Can Make All the Difference

Cassondra and Ryan are no strangers to experiencing stigma around their substance use disorder (SUD).
Ryan and Cassondra
Ryan and Cassondra

Here are 4 easy ways to reduce stigma:

1. Center the person! Use person first language like talking about a person with substance use disorder rather than an "addict" or "alcoholic."

2. Honor people's own language about themselves. People who use substances or with SUD have the right to identify themselves in any way that feels right for them.

3. Use the term "substance use" instead of "substance abuse." Substance use disorder is a treatable medical condition. Also, the term "substance abuse" can increase the public's stigma of people with SUD.

4. Call our family, friends, and coworkers in! When you notice someone saying something stigmatizing, find ways to gently start a conversation about changing that language or thought process.

You have the power to stop the stigma.

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