Stigma makes people not want to seek treatment. To reduce stigma and encourage people to get help, talk openly and honestly about Substance Use Disorder (or SUD).  Show compassion for those with SUD, encourage and make asking for help normal.  Empower people experiencing SUD to seek help instead of shaming them.  Educate other people in your family and friends that SUD is treatable.

Avoid using stigmatizing language. 

Instead of using these…
Use these…

What is SUD (substance Use Disorder) and OUD (Opioid Use Disorder)

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is the excessive or uncontrollable use of substances like alcohol, methamphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, etc. Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is the excessive or problematic use of substances that interact with the opioid receptors throughout the body, such as prescription opiates, heroin, fentanyl, etc.  

Having a substance use disorder (SUD) is not a moral failing – it’s a treatable disease from which individuals can recover and lead healthy lives. Unfortunately, people with SUD are often stigmatized, resulting in a reduced willingness to seek help.