Words like junkie and addict are hugely demoralising for people living with addiction, according to Dublin footballer Philly McMahon.
The eight-time All-Ireland winner was speaking after the Scottish Government launched a nationwide awareness campaign to highlight the damage the words can cause.
The campaign calls for a ‘kinder’ approach to people struggling with addiction – and urges people to replace "addict, alcoholic and junkie" with "person with problematic substance use, person with harmful alcohol use, and person with problematic drug use".
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Mr McMahon said Ireland should run a similar campaign.
“It is a welcome awareness campaign in Scotland,” he said. “I think it is something that Ireland definitely needs to adapt to because we don’t actually realise how much it affects a family member or a person that is struggling with addiction.”
He said the words can create a stigma that “allows people to feel like they can speak down to people that struggle with addiction or to people who are vulnerable or on the streets because of their addiction”.
Mr McMahon’s brother John died from a heroin overdose in 2012 and he told Ciara that it was always hurtful to hear those words used about him.
Michael Staines, Newstalk.com, 7th December 2021