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Why small changes to the language around addiction are so enormously important (Dr. Laura MacKinnon, BCCSU)

The way we speak to and about people who use drugs makes a difference in their outcomes, says Dr. Laura MacKinnon. (Photo credit: CBC News)

This column is an opinion by Dr. Laura MacKinnon, a primary care physician working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and in Northern B.C., and a research fellow with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use. For more information about CBC’s Opinion section, please see the FAQ.

One of my patients recently refused to go to the hospital for a life-threatening infection, stating “I don’t want to go to [this hospital] because they treat me like I’m just an addict there.”

She is a loving mother of four and proud grandparent of three. She is a resilient survivor of intimate physical violence, and currently employed as a peer support worker, helping others in her community prioritize their mental and physical health. And she developed an opioid use disorder after she suffered an accident and was prescribed opioids for chronic pain.

Click here to read the full article on CBC News.

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