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What is stigma?
Stigma refers to the negative stereotypes, discrimination, and social disapproval directed towards individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) or other substance use disorders. This harmful prejudice can create barriers to accessing treatment and support, exacerbate feelings of shame, and hinder recovery.
Efforts to combat stigma in opioid addiction treatment have gained traction in recent years, as harm reduction initiatives and the growing opioid overdose crisis have highlighted the importance of treating people with dignity and respect. Using non-stigmatizing language and adopting person-first approaches are essential for reducing stigma and improving access to care.