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A few words about the use of the term "addict"

Give a person a label and he or she might just live up to it--or down to it.


We all use labels to categorize and describe both ourselves and others. While most labels are probably neutral, some labels may be very positive and boost ones self esteem ("She's such a sweetheart"), while others may be very negative and cause shame ("He's a real loser.") Unfortunately, since the beginning of time the inappropriate use of labels has promoted prejudice, misunderstanding, and hatred (including self-hatred.) I don't want to add fuel to the fire here.

The term "addict" is used often in these pages. It is not meant to represent the sum total of a person. It simply refers to a person who has an addiction. We are all real, live, complicated human beings who are greater than the problems we face. If you are a person with an addiction, you are much more than any addiction you might have. You may hear people in 12-step meetings people refer to themselves as "addicts" in a rather belittling way. Don't buy into it. That is their own shame. Belittling yourself is never a good path to recovery.