Research publication: The impacts of stigma on people with opioid use disorder, opioid treatment, and policy
Mar 11, 2022
Researchers from Turning Point recently published a research paper titled, “The impacts of stigma on people with opioid use disorder, opioid treatment, and policy”. Illicit drug use disorders are the most stigmatised health conditions worldwide, with stigma acting as a barrier to treatment entry and provision and risks isolating people from broader society. Reducing stigma is often discussed across our sector and this paper offers insights into stigma and its impacts across structural, public and at the personal level. While the publication focuses on people with opioid use disorder, the analysis and many of the strategies for reducing stigma are applicable more broadly.
Increasing consumer involvement in service planning and delivery and more person-centred language in policy are offered as strategies, along with narratives that humanise the client group and highlight substance use disorders being treatable. Reforming laws and policies that address treatment inequities and health disparities is emphasised, ensuring that people with substance use disorders are treated with the same dignity and respect as any other patient group.