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Texas Targeted Opioid Response
How to Help Someone

Talking About Prescription Opioid Misuse

You take care of the people you love. If you are concerned that a friend or family member may be misusing prescription opioids, it’s time to speak up. Watch this video to learn the signs of misuse and get help navigating tough conversations.

Life Saving Conversations

Life-Saving Conversations Start With a Few Words

Ready to start a conversation but don’t know where to start? Click to download expert-created conversation guides with strategies and language for navigating these conversations in real life.


Language Matters

When talking about opioid misuse, our words matter. Addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. Language that labels or blames people can make them feel ashamed, alone or hopeless, and less likely to seek help. Click through for examples of words and phrases you can use to talk about opioid use disorder that are helpful for everyone.

SAY THIS

A person with Opioid
Use Disorder (OUD)

NOT THAT

Addict,
pill popper,
junkie

SAY THIS

Prescription opioid misuse

NOT THAT

Drug abuse,
doing drugs

SAY THIS

A person who misuses
prescription opioids

NOT THAT

Drug user/abuser

SAY THIS

Drug-seeking behavior

NOT THAT

Doctor shopping,
pill pusher

SAY THIS

Negative,
positive,
substance-free

NOT THAT

Clean, dirty

SAY THIS

Person in recovery

NOT THAT

Recovering addict

Find Resources

For anyone struggling with opioid addiction, help is available.