Reducing stigma

Stigma and language

Stigmatizing language contributes to shame, isolation and risk taking. Reframing language when talking about people who use drugs is key to reducing stigma, increasing trust in healthcare services and saving lives.

Use the Glossary to understand key terms about opioid overdose prevention and response. Read about Respectful Language and Stigma and learn more about how using “person-first” language can reduce stigma.  


Combatting stigma across B.C.

Health authorities around the province are working to reduce stigma and helping to prevent overdoses by highlighting stories about the impact of negative stereotypes.

First Nations Health Authority

Drug Use is a Health Issue, Not a Moral Issue
A message by Dr. Evan Adams, Chief Medical Officer at the First Nations Health Authority.

Embracing the Grey Area: Harm Reduction in a Community Context
Chair, First Nations Health Council encourages harm reduction among the youth in his communities.

Northern Health

Stop Stigma. Save Lives
Read stories from people with lived experience to gain more insight into the lives of those affected to help contribute to a society where all people live with dignity and respect.

Fraser Health

Overdose prevention and response
Overdose affects all of us. Know how to prevent, recognize and respond to an overdose.

Island Health

Compassion as a Guiding Action
Compassionate response to substance use opens doors by encouraging acceptance and safety.