Language Matters When It Comes to Addiction, Says Chapters Capistrano

The language used when discussing addiction can have an impact on perceptions, reveals Chapters Capistrano.

For years, terms like alcoholic, addict, and substance abuse have been thrown around when discussing substance use disorders and alcohol use disorders. However, these terms tend to cast a negative light on a treatable disease and can deter people from getting the help they need because they fear the stigma. California rehab center Chapters Capistrano has released a statement to the press regarding the need for greater awareness and change when it comes to the language used when talking about addiction.

“Terms like ‘alcoholic’ and ‘addict’ can be very degrading,” says Mike Shea, co-owner of Chapters Capistrano. “A person is so much more than their addiction, but these terms are often used as labels and can be hard to see past. Addiction is one part of their life, but they have so much more to offer, and more important things they want to be recognized for. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, friends, colleagues, you name it.”

A recent article highlights some of the issues surrounding terms like ‘alcoholic.’ For one, there are many different stages of alcohol use disorders. Not everyone who drinks would be considered an alcoholic, but that doesn’t mean that their drinking isn’t problematic. They may overlook the need for treatment because they don’t feel that they fit into the stereotypical image of what an ‘alcoholic’ may be. As the article notes, “Alcohol Use Disorder is comprised of many forms of use and abuse. By contrast, the term alcoholic is black and white; you are one or you aren’t. It is ill-defined, allowing us to turn a blind eye to the progressive nature of problem drinking.”

The term alcoholic also tends to indicate that a person has reached rock bottom, when anyone who drinks should be encouraged to assess their drinking patterns and frequency. A person does not have to self-identify as an alcoholic to realize that they need help. “You don’t have to hit rock bottom to enter treatment,” says Shea. “Some people realize that they don’t like who they become when they drink, or that their drinking is starting to have a negative impact on their life. They aren’t always at their lowest point, but recognize that with the right support, they can turn things around for the better.”

Using terms such as substance use disorder, alcohol use disorder, substance misuse, or person struggling with addiction, can help to break down some of the stigmas surrounding drug addiction. It is a serious disease and one that requires treatment, but people should not feel ashamed or fearful about admitting that they need help.

“It’s time to start being more conscientious about how we talk about drug addiction, and be more supportive of getting people into the treatment programs they need,” says Shea. “Recovery is possible and there is hope. Chapters Capistrano helps clients regain the confidence they need to sustain long-term recovery through comprehensive and personalized approaches to treatment.”


Chapters Capistrano is a luxury drug and alcohol treatment center located in the city of San Clemente in Orange County, California, with two beautiful ocean-view homes. Specializing in all types of substance abuse, Chapters offers flexible treatment programs that are designed to offer greater confidence in addiction recovery. With a thorough approach to detox, counseling and mental health, this center has delivered many success stories. In addition to offering alternative approaches to conventional recovery, Chapters is also recognized for providing guest comfort with exceptional accommodations, private rooms and cell and laptop allowance. Those searching to begin a new “Chapter” in addiction recovery are encouraged to contact the facility today.

Media Contact
Company Name: Chapters Capistrano
Contact Person: Marvin Kimble
Phone: 949-287-8248
Address:1525 Buena Vista
City: San Clemente
State: CA
Country: United States