How to Mitigate Stigma

Stigma can be described as negative attitudes towards an individual or circumstances based on preconceived judgement. Stigma, a form of discrimination,  is an ongoing barrier for individuals struggling with substance use.  One of our top priorities at the  Center for Addiction Medicine and Policy is to mitigate stigma in the healthcare setting by addressing stigmatizing language and actions that cascade into missed treatment opportunities for patients. We believe that patients should find trust without judgement when they present for care and strive to advocate for stigma free language and dialogue regarding patients with opioid use disorder. 

Common Dilemmas in the Ethical Treatment of Inpatients with Substance Use Disorders

"Common Dilemmas in the Ethical Treatment of Inpatients with Substance Use Disorders" was written by Zoe Weinstein, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Medicine; Director, Addiction Consult Service, Boston Medical Center.

Having unified language is crucial in mitigating stigma. We love this Addictionary, which helps to guide us in what language is deemed stigmatizing, with suggestions on how we can improve our approach.

Check it out here!



Using the right language is an important step to mitigating stigma. Download this person first langauge poster to spread awareness.