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    When thinking about the harms of drug addiction, there is a tendency to focus on the harms of drug consumption. But not all harms associated with drug addiction are caused by drug consumption. There is at least another dimension of harm worth considering: what I call the linguistic harm of drug addiction. Starting with an analysis of 'drug addict' as it appears in the media, I argue that 'drug addict' is inconsistently applied to people with drug addiction and that this inconsistency reveals two important features of the term. First, being called a 'drug addict' is worse than being described as 'having a drug problem'. Second, being called a drug addict exacerbates the challenges experienced by people with drug addiction. Referencing the 'addict' narrative, I detail how calling someone a drug addict can add to the marginalization of people with drug addiction and argue that to eliminate the linguistic harm of drug addiction, we ought to reduce it first. Using the analysis of 'drug addict' from the first half of the paper, I propose a novel harm reduction strategy that benefits people with drug addiction but calls on people who do not use drugs.


    Janet Jones. What Do We Mean When We Call Someone a Drug Addict? Health care analysis : HCA : journal of health philosophy and policy. 2020 Dec;28(4):391-403

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    PMID: 33104912

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