Tools for the Media

The DOTF acknowledges the vital role professional Media plays in raising

awareness and educating the public on issues of addiction and recovery.

The public's perception on this issue is molded by the mainstream media

and social media. Words and images matter. 


 AP Style changes around substance use (2017)--read about them here.

Psychology Today:

Communicating About Addiction: Accuracy or Alienation? Tips for You & the Mainstream Media.

Does It Really Matter How We Talk About Addiction? Read the blog here.

The Impact of Language on Behavioral Health Robert Ashford's white paper exploring the impact of word choice about  substance use disorders and mental health and its effect on youth and young adult populations

Project Lazarus has a fact sheet for the Media in its Community Toolkit. See page 75.

SAMSHA's Opioid Toolkit 

Stereotypes, Stigma, and Stories of Resilience: Changing Perceptions of Addiction and Mental Illness

"What’s in a word?  Some words in our everyday lexicon hold a deeper, inexplicable meaning beyond their dictionary definition and become embedded in the way we think, feel, and act...." Read on...

White House's "Changing Language on Addiction" memo.  This document provided guidance from the ONDCP for executive branch staff but is a blueprint for word choice applicable to the media as well.

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