Druggie zombie junkies, and the language battle at the heart of our attitudes towards addiction
Unless there is a change in how we speak about drug users, it is easy to justify an environment where treatment and support is shrinking – which it is at an alarming rate.31 May 2019
Confidence and self-belief are fragile states. For most of us they can either be nurtured or destroyed by the way others describe us. So consider for a moment what terms like “junkie”, “crack-head” or “zombie” do for the self-esteem of people who develop problems with drugs.
Even the less colloquial phrases – like drug-abuser and getting clean (or dirty) – are loaded with judgement. It would be unheard of describe a person with diabetes as having “dirty” blood results but this description is still used for positive drug tests.