In this lesson, we broadened our perspective and understanding about the insidiousness of stigma in all aspects of substance use services. We considered the issues of self-stigma (the substance user’s perception of shame), social stigma (the general prejudices in society about people with substance use disorders), and structural stigma (from health professionals and within program processes). In particular, gender-based stigma was considered along with the enhanced stigma that people in smaller communities may experience when accessing services. The literature we reviewed indicated that stigma is a significant factor for people accessing and completing treatment services.
Although touched on in this lesson, the next lesson will focus more on strategies that can be used to reduce the stigma of substance use and substance use disorders.
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Livingston , J. D., Milne, T., Fang, M. L., & Amari, E. (2012). The effectiveness of interventions for reducing stigma related to substance use disorders: A systematic review. Addiction, 107(1), 39–50.
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