Our language shapes and reveals attitudes that can be quite subtle. Because we are in the business of using language, our choice of words in describing what we do and who we treat becomes very important. This is particularly true in the treatment of addiction disorders.
Despite the scientific advances we have seen in our understanding of the biological and cognitive aspects of abuse and addiction, people (including treatment professionals) still think of addiction as a choice, not an illness.
A core concept that has evolved over the last 10 years is that drug addiction is a brain disease that develops over time as a result of the initially voluntary choice of using drugs (including alcohol and tobacco). Addiction professionals now know…
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