Published On: Thu, Jan 11th, 2018

Drug users should not be called 'junkies' or 'addicts', report urges

The assessment from a group of high-profile figures also calls for terms such as “druggie” and “crackhead” to be phased out. 

Instead religious leaders, the media, intellectuals and celebrities should promote “non-stigmatising” language, according to the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

The commission says it is fine to refer to “a person who uses drugs” but not a “drug user”.

Describing people as having “dependence” or “problematic use” is OK but “pothead” and “stoner” are frowned on.

It would also be wrong to label someone with “non-problematic use” as a recreational or experimental user, says the report.

The commission, set up in 2011, counts ex-Deputy Premier Sir Nick Clegg and tycoon Sir Richard Branson among its members.

Sir Nick said: “Drug policies are all too often based on perceptions and passionate beliefs, not facts. 

“Any drug use carries risks but only a small number of people go on to face addiction or dependency. 

“Those who do need help, not the threat of criminal punishment.”

The commission calls on influential figures to “live up to their responsibility” in shaping opinions and correcting misinformation.

It wants law agencies to stop “harassment” such as unwarranted searches and property seizures.

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