In April of 2021, Nora Volko, the head of the National Institute of Drug Abuse gave a report on the rise in overdose deaths due to street Fentanyl being laced in several drugs including cocaine, weed and more. Nora gave a full report during an online gathering of researchers put together by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

“We’ve seen a very significant rise in mortality,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute of Drug Abuse. “People are often consuming fentanyl “unbeknownst to them,” resulting in a spike in overdose deaths.”

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
Remember that saying from when we were young? It was something our parents often said to us. Some of truly believed that words cannot hurt us, but now we know differently. We know that words build up and tear down. They create bullies and contribute to mental health disorders. They can inspire and encourage us.

When we learn that someone has a substance use disorder, the words that come to mind reveal our biases. We quickly realize that describing someone as a junkie is hurtful, but what about addict or substance abuser? Do we recognize that they are just as harmful?