Headline Health | Opinion – Politically correct public officials and news media have apparently discovered the end of drug addiction.
From now on, those formerly described as drug addicts will be referred to as “persons with substance use disorder” –
- From Psychology Today: “The medical world currently views substance use disorder according to the class of drug that is used.”
- From U.S. National Library of Medicine: – “Substance use disorder occurs when a person’s use of alcohol or another substance (drug) leads to health issues or problems at work, school, or home.”
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: – “Mental health problems and substance use disorders sometimes occur together.”
- From CBS Boston: “The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is reporting an increase in hepatitis A cases in the state. The department says there have been 65 total cases reported statewide since April, including 30 in Boston. The infected patients had been experiencing homelessness or substance use disorder, according to the department.”
What’s wrong with this new terminology? It denies the addict’s responsibility for creating their problem as well as their responsibility for ending it.
Compassion starts with telling the truth
Drug addiction typically involves drugs that are illegal – substances that the public has been warned not to take because they are known to be harmful.
Those addicted to illegal drugs chose their addiction in defiance of the law and common sense.
For those addicted to lawful drugs, the new terminology reduces the culpability of those who prescribed and marketed the drug; their product did not create an “addict,” it was simply supplied to a person with a disorder.
The first thing any person with a health problem needs is the truth. This is the humane and caring thing to do. Telling them that they are addicted because they have a disorder is not the truth.
Those addicted to street drugs made bad choices that they were warned against by the law.
Those addicted to legal drugs may have been following doctor’s orders in the beginning, but they crossed the line to illegally use more than prescribed. In either case, an addict’s first step to recovery is to take responsibility for their problem.
When addicts are told that they are simply victims of a disorder, they are not getting the truth.