We've been talking a lot in our newsroom about whether it's OK to use the word addict to describe people who are fighting addiction.
Some, like Morgan Zalot, say the word is dehumanizing. After all, you don't refer to a sick person as a "cancer," she wrote.
It's a tough topic, especially as the opioid crisis continues to tear through Philadelphia. We polled Philly.com readers to see how they felt. Overwhelmingly, most of the readers polled agreed the word addict is an appropriate term when referring to people who are suffering from the disease of addiction.
Many readers, like Brendan from Mayfair, wrote in to echo Riordan's sentiment about language being part of the healing process. He wrote:
David Hodges from Collingswood wrote in with a similar sentiment:
However, other readers, including Maureen from Northeast Philadelphia, felt the term doesn't do justice to her beloved son-in-law, who suffered with addiction. She wrote:
Robert Ashford also shared his personal story in response to the question about language:
Craig from Point Breeze wrote in to say that labels can hinder recovery:
In his own personal story, Jeffrey Phillips from Philadelphia, wrote:
Adam Boroughs from Logan Township, N.J., shared this:
Should the word addict apply to people with addictions beyond the current opioid crisis? This was something readers also had opinions about. Mark Metzler from Horsham wrote: