Types of stigma

There are several kinds of stigma that cause negative attitudes, stereotypes, shame, and fear toward people with addiction.

Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General

The biggest killer out there is stigma. Stigma keeps people in the shadows. Stigma keeps people from coming forward and asking for help. Stigma keeps families from admitting that there is a problem.

Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General
Rodolfo Milan

Self Stigma

Accepting and internalizing negative stereotypes about oneself.

“I had to accept my diagnosis and follow my treatment plan to get better just like any illness. I am not morally flawed, nor am I stupid or self-destructive.”

Rodolfo Milan
Anne Emerson

Public Stigma

Negative attitudes and fears that isolate those with addiction.

“The stigma that surrounds SUD is shattering. We 'addicts' as society calls us, carry enough guilt and shame for our use and the pain its caused.”

Anne Emerson
Emily Brockway

Stigma Against Medication

Belief that medications “trade one addiction for another”.

“A lot of people don't consider someone sober if they are on [medications], but I am more productive, kinder, more hardworking, and much more attentive…Different things work for different people.”

Emily Brockway
Audrey Comber

Structural Stigma

Excluding those with addiction from opportunities and resources.

“There are many barriers to treatment and most of the domestic violence survivors I know cannot access recovery resources that are helpful or supportive.”

Audrey Comber

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