The language around substance use issues can help or hinder recovery.
That’s the message of this year’s National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), an annual campaign from November 12th to 18th led by Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. This year’s NAAW theme is Words Matter, drawing attention to how the use of stigmatizing language can perpetuate false and harmful myths around substance use, and act as a barrier to recovery.
To help combat stigma, CMHA encourages the public to STOP and consider, with the words they choose:
• Am I stereotyping people with substance use issues?
• Am I trivializing people with substance use issues?
• Might this offend people with substance use concerns?
• Might this patronize people with substance use issues by treating them as if they were not as good as other people?
NAAW is an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about substance misuse, prevention, and treatment. In Canada, it is estimated that approximately 21 per cent of the population (roughly six million people) will meet the criteria for addiction in their lifetime.
CMHA WW offers a variety of programs and services related to addictions:
• Adult Family Education assists family members and caregivers supporting an adult with mental health and/or addiction issues.
• Self Help provides services by people for people who have experienced a mental health and/or addiction issue.
• Adult Psychiatry services are available for those individuals who are experiencing significant concerns with their mental health and/or substance use.
• Supportive Housing combines support with housing for individuals experiencing significant mental health and/or addiction issues who are also experiencing homelessness or are at risk of losing their housing.
For more information on CMHA WW’s programs and services, visit our program page.