By Meaghan P. Ruddy
When we speak of addiction, there is a lot we can say. We can talk about stigmatization, how stigma is a mark, a signifier of something often associated with shame and disgrace, which in turn are responses to things deemed problematic by dominant cultural narratives. We could focus on historical usages of stigmatizing practices, how we come to know disgrace and feel shame by observing how others, particularly those who are in helper roles, respond to our marks, and how all of this negatively impacts healthcare. And we could, as we often do, speak about it from the safe, professional distance of the theoretical.
But there is a simpler truth here.
It is the truth expressed by the civil rights movement, the equity in marriage movement, and women’s suffrage. It is the truth that fuels both political correctness and the fight against it. It is the truth that language matters.
Think about it. If it didn’t matter, we would never take offense, never laugh at a joke, never tear up at a well-delivered line in a film or speech. No one would bristle at terms with historically racist or fascist overtones.
Yet, we do.
Except. Except for one challenging, and unfortunately swiftly growing population.
Yeah, but c’mon, someone might say. They are seeking drugs. They’re a huge problem! They should know better.Read More »