Lesson 11 Summary

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Topic Progress:

In this last lesson associated with stigma, we reviewed the strategies to reduce stigma in substance use systems of care. By contextualizing stigma within a health-related framework, the generalized stigma related to substance use and concurrent disorders didn’t seem so remarkable. The readings in this lesson provided insight into the possible ways to reduce the structural stigma associated with substance use, and included tangible examples of how the reduction of stigma is being integrated into policy frameworks.

Knowing the theoretical methods for reducing stigma and being an effective advocate requires skill and a usable tool kit. The CAMH provides some excellent resources for advocacy. Finally, in this lesson, we took a “fun” look at the serious issue of stigma and how substance use stigma shows up in popular media such as movies and purportedly more serious media such as the BBC.

In the next and final lesson, we will focus more explicitly on a topic that has been implicitly interwoven through all these lessons—interprofessional collaboration.


Buchman, D., & Reiner, P. (2009). Stigma and addiction: Being and becoming. American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience, 9(9), 18–19.

Cape, G. (2003). Addiction, stigma and movies. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia, 107, 163–169.

Van Brakel, W.H. (2006). Measuring health-related stigma—A literature review. Psychology Health Medicine, 11, 307–334.