how addiction affects the brain

a disease not a moral failing.

Stigma refers to when individuals are discriminated against, devalued, rejected or excluded as a result of belonging to a particular group. Addiction-related stigma prevents people who are struggling from reaching out for help and isolates families affected by addiction who fear being judged by their communities.  In 2018, 16 percent of individuals with a SUD did not seek treatment because they worried that it would have a negative impact on their employment; and approximately 15 percent felt it would impact their community’s view of them.

 

Fear and misunderstanding often lead to prejudice against people with substance use disorders, even among healthcare providers. It's also one of the main reasons people don't consider addiction a real health issue. These prejudices and biases leads to feelings of shame in those struggling and creates serious barriers to diagnosis and treatment.

Substance use disorder (SUD) is one of the most stigmatized health conditions on earth.

  • Despite the fact that over 20.3 million people in the United States struggle with substance use SUD, nearly half of Americans don’t think that addiction is a disease.

  • In 2018, 16 percent of individuals with a SUD did not seek treatment because they worried that it would have a negative impact on their employment; and approximately 15 percent felt it would impact their community’s view of them.

  • This stigma leads to discrimination in health care, criminal justice, employment, child custody, and housing, especially in rural communities where treatment and recovery resources may be scarce.

In a recent survey, over 30% of adults view addiction as a character flaw.

latest updates

APF_logo_Black.png

©2020 Addiction Policy Forum. All rights reserved.