I'm looking for a word that gives the same meaning as advocate below, but with a negative twist:

He advocates not doing drugs.

I want to present this better, and emphasize that "He" stands behind (i.e. advocates) not doing drugs.

This sentence, for example, does not work:

He recommends not doing drugs.

Edit: To be clearer, ideally it would read as if he physically worked against it, like (I'd say) advocate implies.

  • Anti-drug activist? Dec 11, 2012 at 12:31
  • You can also champion a cause you believe in. Dec 11, 2012 at 12:34
  • 1
    Not doing something is not “an act”. I think you must mean “To advocate against doing something”. So are you looking for some synonym of “advocate against” then?
    – tchrist
    Dec 11, 2012 at 14:55
  • Okay, this is awkward. My brain thought that advocate against couldn't possibly work in this context. I'll go have a coffee now. Thanks everybody. Dec 11, 2012 at 15:19
  • To me, the answer would be "discourage" (i.e., He discourages doing drugs.). Sep 2, 2019 at 23:34

3 Answers 3


If he actively talks people out of drugs, or similarly works towards the cause as you seem to imply, continue to use the word advocate with the negation following it:

He advocates against doing drugs.

While on the topic, a different phrase set may also work well. 'Doing drugs' is informal/ slang; drug abuse might be more formal.

He advocates against drug abuse.


How about "condemn"? "Proscribe"? "Denounce"?


He opposes the use of drugs.

He disapproves of drug use.


He campaigns against drug use.

He discourages against the use of drugs.

He is a vocal opponent of drug use.

He is critical of those who use drugs.

He fights against drug use.

He is an advocate of the War on Drugs.

He is a champion of the anti-drug movement.


He advocates drug abstinence.

  • I think I was a little unclear above. Advocating something suggests that the advocate is actually working for what he advocates. My "negative advocate" would therefore work against. So disapproval and opposition is a little more passive than what is my goal. Dec 11, 2012 at 12:24
  • Advocates drug abstinence? Dec 11, 2012 at 16:14
  • I think very few people would include the word against in "He discourages against the use of drugs". I've never heard that usage before, but it sounds a bit archaic. Dec 12, 2012 at 0:21
  • @FumbleFingers 23,800 matches on google for "Discourage against" and 6,170 for "Discourages against". Doesn't sound archaic to me, perhaps its more common in certain regions.
    – Baz
    Dec 12, 2012 at 9:25
  • @Baz: If it doesn't sound at least a bit odd to you I suppose very likely there's a regional difference. I was overstating when I said I've never heard that usage before - I think I probably just ignore what I see as the superfluous word. But Google Books has 2470 hits for "discouraged having", and only 3 for "discouraged against having", which I think clearly indicates that most people don't use it. Dec 12, 2012 at 16:01

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