Does Our Choice of Substance-Related Terms Influence Perceptions of Treatment Need? An Empirical Investigation with Two Commonly Used Terms

  title={Does Our Choice of Substance-Related Terms Influence Perceptions of Treatment Need? An Empirical Investigation with Two Commonly Used Terms},
  author={John F. Kelly and Sarah J. Dow and Cara Westerhoff},
  journal={Journal of Drug Issues},
  pages={805 - 818}
Substance-related terminology is often a contentious topic because certain terms may convey meanings that have stigmatizing consequences and present a barrier to treatment. Chief among these are the labels, “abuse” and “abuser.” While intense rhetoric has persisted on this topic, little empirical information exists to inform this debate. We tested whether referring to an individual as “a substance abuser (SA)” versus “having a substance use disorder” (SUD) evokes different judgments about… 

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