Last month, Dr. John Kelly gave a presentation at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Washington D.C. It's an important agency that funds more than a billion dollars in addiction and treatment research.
Kelly, an addiction researcher at Harvard and director of Massachusetts General Hospital's Recovery Research Institute, talked to the group of 30 or 40 top officials, he recalls, about how language can affect people's attitudes and behaviors about certain diseases and conditions. But at the end of his 90 minute talk, he says he just blurted this out.
"I said, know 'I'm being bold here, but I think it's time that we do change the names of our institutes. If not now, when?'"
So, standing before a group of important people who run a major federal agency, which has carried the same name for four decades, Dr. Kelly basically asked them to get rid of their agency's name...because he says that word 'abuse' is outdated.