Stigma And Drug Addiction.edited 1

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Running Head: STIGMA ON ADDICTION
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Stigma and Drug Addiction
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STIGMA ON ADDICTION
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Stigma and Drug Addiction
About 20.1 million people in the U.S. above twelve years old have alcohol and substance
use disorders (SUD) annually on average (Gutierrez et al., 2020). However, only 3.8 million of
this population, translating to 1 in 5 people, seeks treatment or any form of substance use
counseling (Gutierrez et al., 2020). The most significant barrier for people with SUD disorder to
seek clinical help is stigma, the most complex and least understood hindrance in SUD
management. Mental healthcare researchers have shifted their attention to stigma and its impact
on alcohol and substance abuse and improving preventive and recovery efforts (Gutierrez et al.,
2020). Studies have continuously revealed that people with SUD incur higher levels of stigma
than individuals with other mental health concerns, which is the issue that this discussion seeks
to explore in detail.
Stigma Theory-Goffman
Goffman defines stigma as a bodily sign designed to expose unusual and negative
something about the moral status of the signifier (Markowitz & Engelman, 2018). These signs
suggest that individuals are less inferior and ritually inappropriate (tainted) and must be avoided
publicly. It is an attribute that is deeply discrediting and communicates devalued stereotypes.
Such discrediting attributes can be readily noticeable, like skin color, hair color, and body size,
or hidde …
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