Stigma

Stigma surrounding substance use disorders (SUDs) significantly hampers individuals’ ability to seek and receive help, perpetuating a cycle of shame and isolation. This stigma often arises from misconceptions that SUDs are moral failings rather than chronic, treatable medical conditions. As a result, those affected may face social exclusion, discrimination, and internalized guilt, which can exacerbate their condition and deter recovery efforts. Combatting this stigma requires comprehensive public education, empathetic healthcare approaches, and supportive policies that recognize SUDs as health issues deserving of compassion and evidence-based treatment.

A person sitting in the fetal position with a boulder on her shoulders.

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Description

Rachel Solotaroff, MD, MCR, FACP; Amy West, FNP-C, CARN-AP; Cullen Ryan
Presented March 28, 2024