Stigma does harm to individuals with substance use disorders (SUD), and it increases the burden of SUDs. It presents a barrier to help seeking, results in lower treatment quality and increases social and health related consequences of SUDs. This applies to both the individual, societal and economic consequences of substance use. Moreover, stigmatizing persons with addictions is an ethical problem, since it discriminates against a certain group and infringes on their human dignity. Dealing with substance use disorders without stigma is possible. Eliminating the stigma of SUDs means fi nding better ways to deal with SUDs and to make these ways available to everyone. Instead of devaluing, marginalizing and disciplining persons with SUD, empowerment and appreciation need to be at the core of dealing with SUD in prevention, treatment and every day life.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health