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Reducing Stigma in the Opioid Epidemic – Patient and Family Resources

Stigmatizing opioid use disorder and addiction is dangerous and potentially damaging. This section contains patient and family resources on how to avoid stigmatizing people with opioid use disorders.

Understanding Opioid-Related Stigma

The dangerous stigma against pregnant women addicted to opioids

  • This article discusses the stigma pregnant women with an opioid use disorder may feel, as well as harm-reduction strategies for both mother and child.

Reversing the Stigma of Opioid Addiction | NBC Left Field

  • Watch this video to hear about the steps a group of doctors in Portland, Oregon are taking to treat pregnant women with opioid use disorder.

Stigma Kills

  • This article discusses that dangerous and life-threatening consequences of the stigma around opioid use disorder and its treatment.

Understanding the Opioid Epidemic: “Dealing with Addiction”

  • A mother discusses how her high school aged son became addicted to painkillers after a sports injury. Watch the video for insights on talking to your kids about addiction and when and where to seek help.

I shouldn’t have been ashamed of my brother. Eliminate the stigma around opioid addiction.

  • After coping with his brother’s addiction, one man calls for the elimination of stigma around substance dependence.

How Addiction Hijacks the Brain

  • This video from “Stop the Stigma” gives an overview of why addiction is considered a disease, and shows that it is preventable and treatable.

‘Stigma plays a big role’ in failure to tackle world opioid crisis, advocate tells UN

  • This article addresses the importance of treating addiction with compassion rather than criminalizing addiction.

Using Non-Stigmatizing Language

Words Matter Handout

  • Download this guide to using non-stigmatizing language when discussing OUD and SUD.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: End the Stigma

  • The End the Stigma Campaign from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has resources on how to change the conversation around substance use and substance use disorder.

For more information on opioid-related stigma, tailored toward providers: