Advocacy Alert: Sign Petition to “Change the Name: End the Stigma”

October 1, 2020

The words that we use matter. As we continue our fight against stigma, we have become more sensitive to vocabulary and the use of specific words used to describe substance use disorders. One of these words is “abuse”.

Addiction is a disease. Using words such as “abuse” or “abuser” implies that addiction is a character flaw. It takes an act of congress to change a government agency name, so support is needed at all levels.

Three federal agencies dedicated to the eradication of substance use disorders unfortunately contain the word “abuse” in their respective titles. While these agencies are partners in our efforts to provide prevention, treatment, and recovery services, we believe their names should be altered to reflect a more modern approach to SUDs.

Now is the time to tell Congress that national government agencies with words like “abuse” must undergo a name change — specifically, the National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [NIAAA], and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA].

We ask that you sign this petition from Faces & Voices of Recovery and the Recovery Research Institute of Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital. It is critical to our attempt to change the names of these agencies and institutes. We require one million signatures if we are to force action by the federal government.

Questions? Concerns?

As always, we want your input.

A reminder that BHAP members get regular access to our advocate in Washington, DC. If you have any questions about BHAP’s advocacy efforts, please contact us.


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