The Power of Words

“Our individual experiences can be influenced by the opinions and attitudes of those around us.

For people experiencing an alcohol or drug dependence, stigma – or perceived stigma – can be the difference between seeking help, or not.

People should not be defined by their use or diagnosis. Treating people as individuals – and not stereotyping them based on their alcohol or drug use – can help overcome stigma.

Body language, tone and the words we use can make all the difference. Using a person centred approach helps make people feel heard and can encourage people to use the services they need when they need them.

Words have the power to make people feel welcome and safe. You can help clear the path of stigma, and provide the way to support.”

For more information – visit adf.org.au/stigma (Australia, September 2020)

The Power of Words has been produced by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Association of Participating Service Users/Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (APSU/SHARC), Department of Health and Human Services, Harm Reduction Victoria and Penington Institute, following an extensive review of evidence-based literature as well as focus groups with people with lived experience and their families.

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