People who struggle with addiction face a wide range of stigmas. A stigma is a mark of disgrace that sets a person or a group apart. Biased, hurtful words, attitudes, and behavior represent prejudices against people with substance use disorder, and often lead to their discrimination and exclusion. Stigmas can also create barriers for people with addiction seeking treatment.

The Barnstable County Department of Human Services in conjunction with the Barnstable County Regional Substance Abuse Council updated an educational fact sheet to help individuals make the right word choices, because words do matter.

The Language of Addiction. Why Words Matter 


The Barnstable County Regional Substance Abuse Council (RSAC) has established a communication infrastructure across towns, providers, organizations, and individuals on Cape Cod to identify and address regional gaps and disparities in the substance use service provider system, maximize inter-agency collaboration and maximize funding and resource opportunities.  RSAC facilitates for a coordinated and comprehensive regional approach to substance use across the continuum of prevention, treatment, intervention, and recovery.