Focus on the Person, Not the Condition

Listen to Stories

The Tennessee Department of Health shares individual stories of substance use disorder at https://www.tn.gov/tnfacesofopioids.html

Use Person-First Language


Words have immense power to wound or heal. Person-first language emphasizes the person, not the disorder, in an attempt to avoid marginalization or subconscious dehumanization (also known as implicit bias).

Person-first language (for example, reference to “a person with substance use disorder”) suggests that the person has a problem that can be addressed. By contrast, calling someone a “drug misuser” implies that the person is the problem.

Practice Self Care

“Emerging evidence has suggested that self-compassion, a self-caring and compassionate attitude…may buffer the negative effects of stigma.” – Wong, Knee, Neighbors, Zvolensky, 2018

Below are list of resources:

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