Reducing stigma is a key part of fighting the opioid crisis, according to Patrice Harris, MD, President of the American Medical Association and Chair of the AMA’s Opioid Task Force.
“We must all confront the intangible and often devastating effects of stigma,” she said. “The key to recovery is support and compassion. Patients in pain and patients with a substance use disorder need comprehensive treatment, not judgment.”
In their 2018 report, the Opioid Task Force recommended 4 key steps to combat the epidemic of opioid use.
“Unfortunately, we still have a lot of people who think that people who have substance-use disorders have character flaws, or that having an addiction is a moral failing,” said Dr. Harris. “It is not. It is a brain disorder resulting in a chronic medical condition analogous to other chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. We have to do whatever we can to reduce the stigma.”
Murphy, B. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/opioids/4-factors-add-stigma-surrounding-opioid-use-disorder [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018].
End the Opioid Epidemic. (2018). End the Opioid Epidemic. [online] Available at: https://www.end-opioid-epidemic.org/ [Accessed 10 Dec. 2018].
Anon, (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/opioids/4-factors-add-stigma-surrounding-opioid-use-disorder. [Accessed 10 Dec. 2018].