Written by AMA Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse
Junkie. Stoner. Crackhead. We’ve all heard the terms, used to describe those individuals who struggle with drug addiction. These words are dismissive and disdainful; they reflect a moral judgment that is a relic of a bygone era when our understanding of addiction was limited, when many thought that addiction was some sort of moral failing and should be a source of shame. We need to change the national discussion. Put simply, individuals with substance use disorders are our patients who need treatment.