The Power of Words – Alcohol and Other Drug use

Alcohol & Drug Foundation, 2019

A resource for healthcare and other professionals

There’s power in language. By focusing on people, rather than their use of alcohol and other drugs, and by choosing words that are welcoming and inclusive, professionals working with people who use alcohol and other drugs can reduce the impact of stigma.

Stigma in the form of language and actions can make people who use, or have used alcohol and other drugs, feel unwelcome and unsafe. This can stop them from seeking the services they need, which can negatively impact their health, wellbeing, employment and social outcomes.

How to use this guide

The Power of Words contains evidence-based advice on using non-stigmatising language, and features an easy-to-navigate, colour-coded directory of alternative words and phrases to suit a range of common scenarios.

It’s important that consistent, appropriate language is used when speaking about alcohol and other drug use in all contexts, be it speaking directly to a client or through indirect communication to a broad audience.

Recognising this, the recommendations within Power of Words have been developed to be easily adopted by healthcare professionals as well as anyone working in management, people and culture, education, marketing, the media or social media.

The Power of Words has been produced by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Association of Participating Service Users/Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (APSU/SHARC), Department of Health and Human Services, Harm Reduction Victoria and Penington Institute, following an extensive review of evidence-based literature as well as focus groups with people with lived experience and their families.

Substance misuse – the gender divide explained

Alcohol and Drug Foundation, February 21, 2018

Men generally consume harmful substances at higher rates than women – this is true both within Australia and internationally. But while the research points to the prevalence of substance misuse disorders among women in Australia as being around half that of men, they are more likely to be socially criticised as a result of their use/misuse.

This criticism stems from the continuation of traditional gender-based roles assigned to women within our society, which in turn generates and perpetuates social and institutional stigma. One of the end results of this is a reduction in women seeking out treatment services for alcohol and other drug-related (AOD) issues. Which, in turn, has reduced the opportunity for research into many of the gender-specific factors that drive women’s AOD misuse, as well as reducing the quality and efficacy of AOD treatment services for them.

New website with information on drug use and sexual & mental health, for the LGBTI community

24/11/2015

Today, a website has be launched to provide advice and information on drug use and sexual and mental health, focused on the Australian LGBTI community.

The website, TouchBase, is a collaboration between the Victorian AIDS Council, the Australian Drug Foundation and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisatios (AFAO).

It is the first online resource to deal with how recreational drugs can interact with prescription medication and hormones.
It also shows people where they can get support in their state of residence.
Access TouchBase website here