What is a Guest?
a: a person that is invited to participate in an event or stay at a residence.
b: a person who receives accommodations and care from a host or host(s).
We at Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights are to call ourselves the hosts of the individuals, our guests, receiving treatment through our aftercare program. As your host, we treat all of our guests with respect and compassion. Similarly, our staff members embody a culture of support through constant reassurance and care without criticism. This provides a safe space for our guests to rebuild their self-esteem and self-confidence—two components necessary for long-term recovery.
Why Do We Call You A Guest?
Unlike the rehab centers that call the visitors “clients” or “patients,” Spokane Heights welcomes you as a guest. As your host, we guide you through early recovery with empathy and compassion. You are our guests, and it is a privilege to care for you. Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights encourages your participation throughout your treatment, rekindling your joy in life and recovery.
Dedicated to our guest’s mental health, Royal Life Centers at Spokane treats each of our guests as equals. The term “patient” is never used by our staff. We reject the use of any language that is harmful to your recovery. As a major treatment network, it is our duty to exemplify recovery-sensitive standards that embody respect and dignity. We do this in part through the use of guest-centric, person-first language.
We believe that positively altering the way in which society views and discusses addiction, in turn, benefits those in recovery. Like Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights, the non-profit company Shatterproof supports the reversal of our country’s addiction crisis. Advocating for recovery-sensitive care, Shatterproof aims to inspire a positive mental shift in our “country’s consciousness” with the goal of ending the stigmas about substance use disorders. We also believe the implementation of recovery-sensitive, guest-centric treatment methods is a positive step toward revolutionizing addiction awareness, prevention, and recovery.
Respect For Royal Guests
We at Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights treat all of our guests equally. In using non-judgemental terms, Spokane Heights encourages honest, open communication and trust between the staff, guests, and their peers. To expand, we utilize methods to erase stigmas and boost compassionate teamwork amongst guests and staff, for instance:
- All guests are addressed by their preferred name
- We entertain, accommodate, and welcome each guest
- Spokane Heights staff keeps the facility clean and comfortable around the clock
- We encourage guests to form common bonds with their peers and assist them with healthy communication skills
- Spokane Heights staff members greet each guest, ensuring feel comfortable during their transition into treatment
- We remind all guests that all questions are welcome and they can share any concerns with us directly
- We have 24/7 surveillance of our guests to provide them support, safety, and comfortability
- Staff walk guests through the facility to familiarize them with the place they call home for their time in treatment
Most importantly, all of our guests at Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights are treated as equals. Our goal is to provide a healthy atmosphere to encourage growth and healing in treatment and recovery. To accomplish this, all Spokane Heights staff is accessible 24/7 to assist with each guest’s healing process. Another way Spokane Heights aids the healing of our guests is by implementing guest-centric language at every level of care.
Why ‘Guest-Centric’ Language Matters
Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights grasps the weight and impact of words. To put it simply, the words you use have an immense effect on the feelings of others. We meticulously select our words so that the words we use reflect positivity and encouragement. Due to this, our guest-centric treatment practices go beyond our services and into how we speak with our guests on a day-to-day basis. Doing this, we remind ourselves and our guests about the strength of words—the wrong words damage motivation while the right words promote healing and growth.
Understandably, many people wish to provide support and empathy for their loved one’s situation but find their words do not reflect their emotions. This is likely because the country-wide stigmas about substance use disorders regurgitate judgemental, accusatory language that prevents healthy communication. Unfortunately, most people lack access to positive examples of recovery-sensitive terms that respect individuals who are in the process of healing or finding treatment.
Guest-centric language and person-first language (PFL) focus the attention of a person on their identity, making their disability secondary. PFL focuses on the individual and not their disorder. This clarifies the distinction between the individual’s identity and their disorder. We at Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights use person-first language in every mode of communication to highlight each guest’s individuality and equal standing at our facility and in life.
Person-First Language Helps in Recovery
Recovery-sensitive practices like PFL are necessary within alcohol and drug rehab as they safeguard the mental wellbeing of our guests during a vulnerable time in their lives. Person-first phrases benefit addiction recovery, providing consistent reassurance that guests are equal, worthy, and respected. PFL cultivates a genuine connection between staff, guests, and their peers as it rejects the negative stereotypes and labels often associated with addiction. Dissimilar to the infamous, insulting labels like “addict,” PFL communicates through respectful statements such as “person with a substance use disorder.” Following PFL’s constant positive reinforcement, guests are able to discard the ingrained self-judgment, replacing shame-related terms for recovery-sensitive terms that allow for self-acceptance and self-love.
Outdated and insensitive addiction slang, i.e., “addict, “alcoholic, “wino,” needs to disappear from the country’s vernacular. By using derogatory phrases, the speaker puts themselves on a level above the person with a substance use disorder. Replacing divisive labels like “druggie” and “junkie” with person-first language such as “a guest with a substance use disorder” deconstructs the deep-seated judgment and scorn American’s associate with addiction. The perpetual criticism of SUDs trained the public, and certain clinicians, to respond to addiction with punishment over treatment.
Combatting Ignorance With Awareness & Education
It is important to remember that some people use labels out of ignorance and not out of aggression. Sadly, this ignorance is sustained by government figures, educational systems, and the media. In fact, there are still addiction treatment networks that use judgmental, distancing language that alienates people navigating through early recovery. This negligence creates contempt for rehabilitation services, furthering the fear of judgment and rejection in individuals who are hesitant to seek treatment. Indeed, the harmful effects of distancing language in addiction treatment have been supported by government-funded addiction treatment research such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For instance, the NIH posted a 1999 thought piece expressing the potential negative consequences of the medical term “patient” in treatment for substance use disorder.
Whether we like it or not, it is important to acknowledge the influence of words and how they shape the way we view and treat others. Society must shift how it talks about people with SUDs to help those with substance use disorders. In support of bettering the countries ability to assist those with SUDs and lower the addiction and overdose rates, Spokane Heights integrates guest-centric language within every level of care with our programs.