Stigma against those who use substances, from healthcare professionals, family, friends, the general community, and even themselves, is considered to be a major barrier to successful engagement in treatment. This project focuses on how to measure stigma among substance users and how to change it.
In this study, patients opioid use disorder who request treatment through the emergency department are being recruited and assessed for the stigma they have experience or anticipate experiencing. We are using a validated measure of stigma to quantify the degree of stigma experienced and qualitative data using interviews to understanding nuances of stigma not captured by the quantitative stigma measure. We will then assess how these stigma experiences influence treatment continuation over time.