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. 2019 Mar;32(2):78-83.
doi: 10.1177/0840470418798658. Epub 2019 Jan 30.

Managing the Stigma of Opioid Use

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Managing the Stigma of Opioid Use

Heather Stuart. Healthc Manage Forum. .

Abstract

Substance use stigma makes it difficult to reframe the opioid crisis as a public health issue and has been a barrier to accessing life-saving treatments. Interventions using people that convey recovery stories are promising practices. Groups that may benefit from targeted stigma reduction interventions include opioid users (to combat shame and blame), at-risk youth, first responders, dispensary personal, media, and healthcare professionals. The evidence supporting antistigma interventions is thin, with little Canadian research. Research is needed to establish the effectiveness of substance-related stigma reduction strategies. Health leaders should examine their own responsibilities to lead the public health debate, reduce opioid-related stigma, and actively engage members of the community of those with lived experience to become partners in these activities.

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