STAT May 25, 2023
The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recently proposed a new addition to the vernacular of addiction: “prediction.” The idea is that the word will help identify and intervene earlier and more effectively in the use of harmful substances.
While that’s an admirable goal, the term doesn’t match the evidence. Worse still, its adoption could have potentially disastrous consequences for people with substance use disorders, an already marginalized group.
The term “prediction” was proposed by federal agencies to raise awareness of harmful substance use, increase screening and brief interventions in clinical settings, prevent overdoses, and support the development of new interventions for harmful substance use and early-stage substance use disorders. Adopting such a label…
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