Experiences of stigma while visiting healthcare services among people who use drugs in Australia
Feb 24, 2023
The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) has published a research report titled “Experiences of stigma while visiting healthcare services among people who use drugs in Australia, 2022.” The report looks at information provided by 700 people who completed either the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Study (EDRS), or the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) in 2022. The IDRS participants have very high levels of injecting drug use when compared with the EDRS participants. Among those who had visited a general healthcare service (a health service unrelated to the use of illicit drugs), 40% of IDRS participants and 25% of EDRS participants reported experiencing stigma. Of the EDRS participants, 27% reported that the healthcare staff were not aware of their drug use, whereas for IDRS participants, only 5% reported that healthcare staff were not aware of their drug use. This shows that we’ve still got a long way to go, to reduce the stigma faced by people who use drugs.