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Take the Pledge to End Substance Use Disorder Stigma

Words Matter. What We Say and How We Say it Makes a Difference.


We can be a model and help lead the way by using language that de-stigmatizes the disease of substance use disorder. That means using language that recognizes that substance use disorder is a chronic illness, not a moral failing, and that people can and do recover. 

We invite you to sign the Words Matter Pledge, originally developed by the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center.

Sign the Pledge

You can also download and print the pledge form (pdf).

Why do Words Matter?

Studies show that about 1 in 12 people with substance use disorder get treatment. Stigma is one of the key reasons why more people aren't treated.

Using the right language, and putting people first, has a real impact on ending stigma and helping people with substance use disorder seek and get the treatment they need.

Sign the Words Matter Pledge

It only takes a moment to do your part

Fill out the pledge form to join us in creating a stigma-free environment at our hospitals, universities, companies, and in our community. Then share the pledge with your friends and family.