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Recognising the recovering addict with Honneth: An intervention into the stigmatising language debate in the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) field

Walmsley, Ian

Recognising the recovering addict with Honneth: An intervention into the stigmatising language debate in the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) field Thumbnail


Authors

Ian Walmsley Ian2.Walmsley@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Criminology



Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of the recommendation to replace identity-first language with person-first language on people who self-identify as recovering addicts as part of a recovery programme. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) will be used to illustrate the contextualised nature of the recovering addict identity. Design/methodology/approach: To demonstrate the value of the recovering addict identity and social relations in NA, this paper draws on Axel Honneth’s theory of mutual recognition and self-formation. Findings: Person-first language overlooks the significance of identity-first language to people in 12-step recovery. This oversight is linked to the logic of stigma reduction which excludes all identity-first language by association rather than assessing the impact of such terms on a case-by-case basis. Honneth’s theory is used to show how the recovering addict identity facilitates self-confidence and self-esteem through relations of mutual recognition in NA. Research limitations/implications: The argument excludes people who identify as recovering addicts, but do not attend 12-step groups. Further research would be needed to understand how the recommendation to use person-first language instead of identity-first language impacts upon other recovery communities and pathways. Practical implications: The recommendation to replace identity-first language with person-first language might result in 12-step fellowships becoming marginalised within the broader academic and policy and practice arena. Language preferences can become a contentious issue when 12-step groups and their members enter the wider recovery arena where their preferred terminology is viewed as stigmatising and dehumanising. Originality/value: To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the first article to propose an alternative theoretical framework to stigma reduction for judging morally appropriate language in the alcohol and drugs field.

Citation

Walmsley, I. (2023). Recognising the recovering addict with Honneth: An intervention into the stigmatising language debate in the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) field. Drugs, Habits and Social Policy, 24(3), 220-231. https://doi.org/10.1108/DHS-05-2023-0019

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 23, 2023
Online Publication Date Aug 7, 2023
Publication Date Sep 12, 2023
Deposit Date Jul 23, 2023
Publicly Available Date Sep 8, 2023
Journal Drugs, Habits and Social Policy
Print ISSN 2752-6739
Electronic ISSN 2752-6747
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 3
Pages 220-231
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/DHS-05-2023-0019
Keywords Axel Honneth; critical social theory; identity-first language; Narcotics Anonymous; person-first language; recovering drug addict
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/10974764
Additional Information The article has been accepted for publication.

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Copyright Statement
This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com.'


Recognising the recovering addict with Honneth: An intervention into the stigmatising language debate in the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) field (86 Kb)
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Licence
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Copyright Statement
This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com.




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