RSA/ACER Statements and Guidelines re: Addiction Terminology

STATEMENTS and GUIDELINES RE: ADDICTION TERMINOLOGY: The Research Society on Alcohol and the journal Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research recommends against the use of terminology that can stigmatize people who use alcohol, drugs, other addictive substances or who have an addictive behavior. As such, RSA and ACER are in agreement with: International Society of Addiction Journal Editors:

Statement Regarding Terminology: RSA recommends against using language that can exacerbate stigma and discrimination among individuals who use alcohol or who have alcohol use disorder.  Research by RSA members and others has found that several terms, such as “abuser,” “alcoholic,” and “addict,” can induce stigma and are associated with negative views of individuals (Ashford, Brown, & Curtis, 2018; Kelly & Westerhoff, 2010; Kelly, Wakeman & Saitz, 2015). When submitting your program proposals, speaker and/or poster abstracts, and satellite proposals, RSA recommends using clinically accurate terminology, “person first” language, and avoiding terms that may increase stigma towards individuals with alcohol use disorder.  For more information and recommended terms, please see: