The word ‘addiction’ is itself bursting at the seams with negative connotations. It can evoke all sorts of uncaring ignorant stereotypes. It is a stigmatising word. But we use it carefully on this site as explained here.

The word is used widely in everyday life, medical terminology, the media and by many who fall prey to the intensely distressing mental health disorder which has yet to find a generally agreed more neutral name.

Rethink Addiction, the Australian organisation discusses the issue.

It is worth remarking that the page the above is taken from is headed with:

Addiction is one of Australia’s most misunderstood health conditions.

And yet today this health issue is shunted out from health services and some Third Sector organisations claiming to support mental health (which obviously is a huge part of health generally). There are some mental health organisations which do not even mention addiction. This may be a sign of far bigger, institutionally embedded sources of stigmatising  one of the most pervasive and serious ill health issues than the inadequate language we use.

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