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- Although substance use disorders are chronic and treatable medical conditions, studies show people with these disorders still face discrimination and stigma (a set of negative attitudes and stereotypes) that can impact their health and well-being in numerous ways. This stigma also affects people who use drugs who do not have a substance use disorder.
- There are safe, effective, and lifesaving tools available to help people struggling with substance use. However, stigma often factors into the reasons why people who need help do not seek care.
- Research shows the language we use contributes to stigma and discrimination against people with substance use disorders, including by healthcare professionals.
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Find More Resources on Stigma and Discrimination
- See the Stigma and Discrimination Research Toolkit from the National Institute of Mental Health.
- Read more about overcoming stigma and ending discrimination from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (PDF, 897 KB).
- Visit Changing the Language of Addiction, a guide from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
- Read Understanding Addiction to Support Recovery, a stigma reduction resource from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.