Stigma and Discrimination


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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 people use can contribute to stigma and discrimination against people with substance use disorders, including by healthcare professionals.

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