The Response - 13

feature

"

 atch your thoughts, they become words;
W
Watch your words, they become actions;
Watch your actions, they become habits;
Watch your habits, they become character;
Watch your character, for it becomes

your destiny."

		

Ralph Waldo Emerson (among others)

by William Santoro, MD, Chief, Section of Addiction Medicine,
Reading Hospital, Tower Health System, and Coalition Member

A

As children we often said, "Sticks and stones can break my bones but
names will never hurt me." How wrong we often were as children.

word like "addict" is so stigmatizing that it can cause a person to not seek medical attention. The word "addict" is a noun. It labels the
person as being the disease rather than having the disease. It allows us to dehumanize the person with the disease.

	 We all have our own prejudices; how we respond when we discover them says a lot about who we are. I have been telling people for
years not to use the word "addict" because of the stigmatizing effects. Then one day the following happened. I was seeing a patient that I
had treated 5 years earlier for addiction. He had been doing well until he simply disappeared. During this return visit I asked him
what happened, thinking he would simply say that he relapsed and now had returned to resume his battle with addiction. Instead he told
me that he had been incarcerated for the last 5 years. Because I was so used to asking invasive questions, without thinking, I asked him
why he was incarcerated. He told me he had killed someone. At this point I had already started down a slippery slope and I asked him,
"What happened? Was it a drug deal gone bad?"
	 He replied, "No, nothing like that... it was just a jogger. I killed a jogger while driving."

Continued on page 14
cocaberks.org

13


http://www.cocaberks.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Response

No label
The Response - No label
The Response - 2
The Response - 3
The Response - 4
The Response - 5
The Response - 6
The Response - 7
The Response - 8
The Response - 9
The Response - 10
The Response - 11
The Response - 12
The Response - 13
The Response - 14
The Response - 15
The Response - 16
The Response - 17
The Response - 18
The Response - 19
The Response - 20
The Response - 21
The Response - 22
The Response - 23
The Response - 24
The Response - 25
The Response - 26
The Response - 27
The Response - 28
The Response - 29
The Response - 30
The Response - 31
The Response - 32
The Response - 33
The Response - 34
The Response - 35
The Response - 36
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/ResponseSummer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/ResponseWinter2020-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/Response_Winter20192020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/TheReponseSummer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/TheResponseWinter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/ResponseSpanish
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Response/SummerFall18
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