People living with a substance use disorder (SUD) are no strangers to stigma. A multinational study conducted by the World Health Organization found drug addiction to be more stigmatized than other social conditions, including criminal behavior and HIV positivity. Addiction-related stigma has harmful consequences. It can deter people from seeking and participating in treatment, contributing to low rates of SUD treatment utilization. Indigenous people in North America living with a SUD might experience heightened stigma, as painful stereotypes about alcohol misuse among Native communities endure. This week, in honor of Native American Heritage Month, STASH reviews a study by Emily Winters and Nick Harris that examined addiction-related stigma, and if the severity of stigma changed as a result of Indigenous identity and treatment seeking intention.
What were the research questions?
What are the public perceptions and attitudes towards Indigenous people with substance use disorders? What are the public perceptions and attitudes towards individuals with substance use disorders who do not seek treatment?