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Impact of Stigma on Addiction

Despite the development of many effective treatment options, stigma (negative attitudes toward people based on distinguishing characteristics) is a major barrier in many people’s willingness to seek help for alcohol problems. Recognizing Substance Use Disorder as a medical condition is an important step toward easing the problems associated with stigma and addiction, and opening doors for those who need support most.

Here are some stigma reduction strategies to consider:

  • Learn more. Causes of addiction can vary. Understanding how and why addiction occurs can help reduce the stigma and stereotypes surrounding it.
  • Talk about it. Discussing addiction helps humanize the disease and shows that recovery is possible. If you notice any signs of addiction in someone you know, say something.
  • Show compassion. For those working toward recovery, compassion and support are invaluable.

For additional information, check out the following resources:

  • Last Modified: March 4, 2022
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