A Word on Language
The language we use has a powerful impact on the people we work with and for. This is of particular concern in the substance use field as a number of words and phrases often used actually increase stigma and discrimination, which may then decrease a person’s access to necessary health and social services. Terms like
Considering the impact that language can have, there is a need for further discussion on how some terms will be used and defined by this Strategy. The terminology we use should strive to be as general, neutral, and all-encompassing as possible. As a Drug Strategy, it is our intention to be inclusive to people from all communities, genders, and cultures that engage in substance use, and be attentive to the many reasons for which people engage in substance use, recognizing
We recognize that substance use occurs across a continuum, including beneficial or therapeutic uses, recreational uses, as well as intermittent and chronic use. As a Drug Strategy, we are predominantly concerned with the potential harms and negative impacts of substance use on individuals and communities.
1 Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. (2005). Answering the call: National framework for action to reduce the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs and substances in Canada. S.l.: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Retrieved from http://www.ccdus.ca/Resource%20Library/ccsa-011322-2005.pdf#search=all%28ontario%29
2 Mindyourmind. (n.d.) Substance Use. Retrieved from https://mindyourmind.ca/illnesses/substance-use