Episode 42

The Label of “Addiction”

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Is the word “addiction” helpful or limiting? We discuss if repositioning our verbiage can aid in shifting the stigma and true understanding of why individuals struggle with dependence and mental health disorders.

Talking Points

  1. What does it mean when we mention we want to ‘disrupt’ our industry?
  2. What are the benefits and downfalls of using the word ‘addiction’ within the treatment industry?
  3. How is this word disruptive?
  4. The benefits we can see from making the shift in verbiage


“Even though ‘addiction’ describes a behavior, it describes a stigmatized behavior. It describes a behavior that we continue to separate out as different from different behaviors when in reality it’s just another maladaptive behavior. Even more so what it does continues to fracture the industry and continues to separate out that the behavior of addiction, or the behavior of substance use, is somehow different and should be treated differently than those who struggle with mental health disorders. That is when I see it becoming the most detrimental to our industry.”
Clinton Nicholson, MA, LPC, LAC

Episode Transcripts