EDITORIAL – Drug addiction requires bold action, not fuzzy language

(Image: CFJC Today)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

EVERYBODY HAS IDEAS about what to do about drug abuse.

The Addiction Matters Kamloops group, for example, wants to remove the stigma around drug addiction by changing the way we talk about it.

It suggests replacing the term “addict” with “people with a substance use disorder.” It asks us to take a pledge to stop using terms like “crack head” and “junkie,” which it says will show more respect for the individual.

Premier John Horgan, backed by Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, takes a very different approach. He is formally asking the federal government to decriminalize possession of illegal drugs for personal use.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8481 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Drug addiction requires bold action, not fuzzy language

  1. If there is indeed a problem with the word “addict” then the suggested “conversation” will not be off a good start. Beside that, we could just follow the roadmap laid out with seemingly good success by a small and somewhat irrelevant European county.

  2. We live in a world of fuzzy language and a kneejerk reaction towards harm reducing politically correct words and phrases. There are not a lot of historical social issues which these language, phrase and word changes been pushed, and they have on their own driven the social change itself (there are a few), so the value of doing it is questionable.

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