Latest developments in causes and treatments



Resources For Stigma Recognition and Reduction

Stigma kills. It’s that simple. Labeling people suffering from substance use disorders or behavioral disorders as addicts, alcoholics or dangerous creates a barrier to therapy that can be deadly. 

“Stigma can prevent people from seeking care and can even contribute to their continuing addiction,” says the Curated Library about Opioid Use for Decision-makers (CLOUD). The Library provides a wealth of curated resources devoted to the subject of stigma in the context of substance use disorders (SUDs).

The Library offers links to videos, pamphlets, training programs, and documents from all over the United States. It’s a clearing house with a large number of resources submitted by federal, state and local governments, care agencies, faith-based groups, and others in the SUD community working to reduce barriers to care.

Another excellent source for everything about stigma, all in one spot, is Dr. Jenny Mincin’s essay, “Addiction and Stigmas: Overcoming Labels, Empowering People,” in the collection, New Directions in Treatment, Education, and Outreach for Mental Health and Addiction. Dr. Mincin is an assistant professor in the School of Health and Human Services at the State University of New York (SUNY).

“As a result of labeling and stigmas, people may often wait years before admitting

they have a problem,” writes Dr. Mincin in the introduction to her resource-rich guide. She provides a review of currently available collections, including these four major resource sites for information about stigma recognition and reduction:

One more suggestion for learning about stigma comes in a short video from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It’s a moving testimony from a visual artist about losing his sister to drug addiction and the stigma that prevented her from getting proper care.

Written by Steve O’Keefe. First published February 1, 2024.


“Reducing Stigma Surrounding Substance Use Disorders,” CLOUD: The Curated Library about Opioid Use for Decision-makers, August 2022.

“Addiction and Stigmas: Overcoming Labels, Empowering People,” by Jenny Mincin, Ph.D., New Directions in Treatment, Education, and Outreach for Mental Health and Addiction, 2018.

“Breaking Down the Stigma of Addiction: A Witness’ Story Through Art,” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2022.

Image Copyright: jinnaritt.



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