Encourage media to commit to using only stigma-reducing language when discussing addiction

Encourage media to commit to using only stigma-reducing language when discussing addiction

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Overdose Lifeline, Inc. started this petition to ABC and

The #ChooseEmpathy Movement

In honor of National Recovery Month, Overdose Lifeline is launching a new campaign meant to inspire greater understanding for those affected by substance use disorder. Through the power of empathy, our aim is to help shift common misperceptions and stigmatizing language, and ultimately help those with the disease, and their family and loved ones, on their paths to recovery and health.

As part of this effort, we’re asking that news organizations embrace and put into practice the official Associated Press (AP) stylebook when covering stories related to addiction. The current AP stylebook guidelines aim to remove derogatory phrases, and instead use more constructive and accurate language when describing substance use disorder and those dealing with the disease. 

These suggested changes aren't simply a matter of political correctness – stigmatizing language creates barriers to people seeking help, assigns derogatory labels and misunderstanding which can have deadly consequences. 

Please sign our petition encouraging press outlets to commit to doing so. 

Word Matter

The continued use of stigmatizing language perpetuates false stereotypes, spreads misinformation, and keeps people out of care.

Substance use disorder affects 43 million Americans, with more than 20 million Americans living in active addiction.

The use of stigmatizing language - anything that implies blame upon the individual, perpetuates false stereotypes, or spreads misinformation - keeps people affected out of care.

By using ‘person first’ language, educating others, and choosing words which do not further stigmatize this chronic disease we can help remove barriers to getting help.

Why Sign The Petition

Together we can eliminate the stigma surrounding substance use / opioid use disorder and facilitate better care for those living with the disease.

Watch The Experiment 

What if the average person could understand what it was really like to try and just 'kick the habit'? Watch here.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!