Monday, February 08, 2016

Must not describe druggies accurately

Windia Rodriguez remembers the sting of the words hurled at her during a hospital stay a few years ago. “Crackhead.’’ “Addict.’’ Especially, she recalls the scorn in the voices that pronounced her “just an addict.”  “They treated me like I was beyond hope,” Rodriguez said.

But she found hope, and these days, free of drugs for four years, Rodriguez makes a point of adding two words to the standard salutation in her 12-step group. “I’m an addict,” she says, “in recovery.”

In so doing, Rodriguez, a Boston resident and regional coordinator for the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, quietly adds her voice to those of researchers and advocates who want to rewrite the lexicon of addiction.

These advocates seek to excise language that blames or disparages the patient and replace it with medical terms free of judgment. They assert that commonly used words — “junkie,” “abuser,” even “substance abuse” and “addict” — can discourage people from seeking help, induce health professionals to treat patients harshly, and exacerbate the stigma that bedevils people suffering from drug addiction.

“The biggest thing we trade in is hope,” said Dr. Barbara Herbert, Massachusetts chapter president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, a confederation of doctors and other medical workers. “Our biggest enemy is hopelessness. That’s why I think language matters a lot.”



Anonymous said...

Very few people become addicted due to what other people do; they do it to themselves. Perhaps they thought that it would not happen to them.

Bird of Paradise said...

I can remember back when Hollywood was gloriying drugs so much that someone went up and modified the Hollywood sign to read HOLLYWEED

stinky said...

Pretense does not end helplessness; it makes it worse.

Anonymous said...

I support measures which solve problems - not make them worse.
But I also believe that failing to call a problem a problem doesn't make the problem any less.

Stan B said...

Why is it that every change in language is followed the next generation by additional changes to mollify the supposed "victims" of the language? Because people want to put lipstick on the pig of addiction (or illegal border crossings, or generational dependence on social welfare) in order to help the "self-esteem" of those who are trapped in the cycle.

What helps the self-esteem of those trapped in the cycle is the realization that the government ISN'T here to help, that there are ways out if they will humble themselves and decide to change their lives, and that they are at least partially to blame for their own problems.

Coddling people doesn't remove the problem. Things happen for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that people are stupid and make bad choices.

Anonymous said...

People who change the label because the label has bad connotations fail to understand the simple fact that the label has those bad connotations because of how the people under it act, not because the word itself is bad.

Those connotations will attach to any new label they give the bad behavior and the problem will simply repeat except the language will now have an additional word holding the same bad connotations.

In other words as the immortal bard put it: "A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet".

Spurwing Plover the fighting shorebird said...

I can still remember the anti drug commercials in the 70's WHY DO YOU THINK THEY CALL IT DOPE?

Ibis, bird of ancient knowledge, said...

Those above state the obvious and sensible, as if thinking that lefties should be able to see and understand what is obvious and sensible too. Leftism doesn't work that way. There are emotional, mental and conscious layers to any leftist group, just as there are those layers to the individual. The group reflects an individual. And there are those in the group who as individuals most attune with and comprise that particular layer of the group, be it emotional, mental or conscious/intelligent. And the flow of impetus or initiative runs through the group's layers (the sub-groups of conscious/intelligent, emotionally mental, emotional) in the same way/ by the same rules as it runs through the individual. So the base rules of CBT/REBT and those cognitive type therapies apply to the group too - basically, conscious intelligence governs thought; thought initiates emotion/ it is via thought that emotion is controlled; and although thought initiates emotion it is the values as held by the consciousness relating to the thought that dictate the type of emotion initiated. If we are in a room full of lefties we can see the individual sub-group members effecting the other subgroup members, and the whole room functioning like one large individual psychological mechanism. Of course one has to "get one's eye in", but after we know what we're looking at its pretty easy from then on.

Emotional lefties are immersed in feel-good/feel-right emotions and they value feeling right more than being right. So there is no way they can see sense, unless they are put on the spot in such a way that there is nothing else to see, and even then, it will have to happen frequently and they will have to we uncommitted lefties.

Emotionally mental lefties, are immersed in image and status, that is looking good and looking right, along with feeling that way too but the attraction has move up and inward a level. And all their thinking is along those lines and they cannot see another way unless their sugar pedestal collapses under them. And they need an alternative direction and more truthful set of values.

And the conscious/intelligent lefties, love power and control, and this group understand truth and genuine goodness very well, but hate it, and they control and manipulate the other two groups, just as an individual controls thought, emotion, and behaviour, in the same sequence or direction of flow/train of power, and by the same rules of interaction between the layers. Get your eye in, and its all there. These ones are not emotional or illogical, they are deceptive and manipulative. We can't change this group, only make them look foolish before an audience of uncommitted by using sound reasoning that gives them no room to move. It has to be merciless logic.

Only uncommitted and doubtful lefties change, and they need an alternative direction as much as they need the left way revealed as a false way.