Substance use professional wants people to stop using term for users
JOLIET – It’s time we stop naming substance users as addicts, Will County Director of Substance Use Initiatives Dr. Kathleen Burke said.
“I want to ask everyone today to stop using the word ‘addict’ because it’s derogatory and it stigmatizes,” Burke said Wednesday. “People have a medical disease. It’s a substance use disorder. ‘Substance users’ is what I try to say.”
U.S. Rep Bill Foster, D-Naperville, hosted a panel discussion Wednesday at the Will County Office Building in Joliet on the science of opioid and heroin addiction, where Burke made the request. The event also focused on the neurological effects the drugs have on developing brains and responsible practices for prescribing opioids.