Use of appropriate language in medical writing

A review paper published in 2017 in Public Health by six scientific organizations for addiction medicine calls on medical journals to ensure that terminology is always neutral, precise and respectful, and avoids negative wording.

Because appropriate terminology may vary between cultures and regions and over time, it is important that communities establish their own consensus of what is neutral, precise and respectful.

The articles identifies 23 problematic terms and their possible alternatives; for example, replacing the terms “substance abuse” or “drug addiction” with “substance use disorder.”

The paper is closed access (and the pdf didn’t show up through Kopernio or Unpaywall), but those with subscriptions or library access can read the paper on Science Direct or the journal’s page here

Scholten W, Simon O, Maremmani I, et al. Access to treatment with controlled medicines rationale and recommendations for neutral, precise, and respectful language. Public Health 2017 Dec.153:147-153.