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Medications For Addiction Treatment: Changing Language to Improve Care

Wakeman, Sarah, E.

doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000275
Commentary
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The term medication-assisted treatment has been widely adopted in reference to the use of opioid agonist therapy. Although it is arguably better than the older terms of replacement or substitution therapy, medication-assisted treatment implies that medications are a corollary to whatever the main part of treatment is. No other medication for other health conditions is referred to this way. It has finally been recognized that to improve care and reduce stigma, we must use medically accurate and person-first language, describing those with the disease of addiction as people with substance use disorder. However, to truly change outcomes, we must also alter the language of treatment.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Sarah E. Wakeman MD, FASAM, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit Street, Founders 880, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail: swakeman@partners.org

Received 21 October, 2016

Accepted 24 October, 2016

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2017 American Society of Addiction Medicine