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New Pediatric Guidelines Set For Speaking to Children About Addiction

by Will Long

June 29, 2022

New Pediatric Guidelines Set For Speaking to Children About Addiction

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published new recommended pediatric guidelines for its members to use when actively caring for adolescents, young adults, and children who might be dealing with some kind of substance use disorder or have a loved one struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. The care of families for pediatricians is deeply important and all-encompassing of what they do. These guidelines offer another look at how we talk about addiction and how we should. We’ve previously discussed how the words we use impact the everyday operation of a treatment center from a clinical perspective, but what about times when we’re dealing with families that include a member suffering from a substance use disorder?

Here’s a list of key outdated terms and their updated forms that humanize patients:

Speaking about an issue with the right words is simple and requires only a modicum of respect for the struggles someone is going through. We don’t want to continue stigmatizing the issues and aspects of addiction, which could cause a person experiencing substance abuse to feel shame. Instead we want to create a sense of understanding in the hope that they will seek treatment and get help. We want the discussion surrounding them to be productive, constructive, and valuing of their dignity from a human point of view.

From the published recommendations:

“Pediatricians across the United States encounter infants, children, adolescents, young adults, and families affected by substance use disorders in their daily practice. For much of history, substance use has been viewed as a moral failing for which individuals themselves are to blame; however, as addiction became understood as a medical disorder, clinical terminology has shifted along with a growing awareness of harm of stigmatizing language in medicine.”

Landmark Recovery seeks to bring our expertise and evidence-based, scientific approach to everything we do in treating patients. If you feel like you or a loved one could benefit from addiction treatment, give us a call at 888-448-0302 to learn more about how we can help.

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About the Author

Will Long

Will Long

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Long has been a writer for Landmark Recovery since 2021. He specializes in research and writing about substance abuse from a scientific and social perspective. Unearthing information from underexplored, far-flung corners of the Internet, Long’s passion is finding emerging trends in substance use and treatment that the public should know about.