The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) designed Overcoming Stigma Through Language: A Primer to increase understanding of the devastating stigma associated with substance use and addiction and its impact on the well-being of people touched by this health issue.
We created this primer with support from our partners at the Community Addictions Peer Support Association (CAPSA). Our hope is that it will help you and your community of influence to recognize the stigmatizing language, attitudes and behaviours that surround people experiencing the harms of substance use.
Many people with lived and living experience with substance use have shared with us their stories about stigma in their communities, workplaces and homes. We have learned from those stories. On an individual level, stigmatizing words or actions are harmful. Collectively, and over time, they have an even greater impact on people’s health and well-being.