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Int J Ment Health Addict. 2013 Feb 1;11(1):110-122.

Drug Addiction Stigma in the Context of Methadone Maintenance Therapy: An Investigation into Understudied Sources of Stigma.

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Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.


Experiences of stigma from others among people with a history of drug addiction are understudied in comparison to the strength of stigma associated with drug addiction. Work that has studied these experiences has primarily focused on stigma experienced from healthcare workers specifically even though stigma is often experienced from other sources as well. Because stigma has important implications for the mental health and recovery efforts of people in treatment, it is critical to better understand these experiences of stigma. Therefore, we characterize drug addiction stigma from multiple sources using qualitative methodology to advance understandings of how drug addiction stigma is experienced among methadone maintenance therapy patients and from whom. Results demonstrate that methadone maintenance therapy patients experience prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination from friends and family, coworkers and employers, healthcare workers, and others. Discussion highlights similarities and differences in stigma experienced from these sources.


Discrimination; Drug Addiction; Methadone; Prejudice; Stereotypes; Stigma

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