“As heroin use and dependence have become more prevalent, the chances that each of us knows someone dependent on heroin (or opioid pills) have climbed. Your friend, family member, roommate, office mate, or significant other may be struggling with a heroin problem. In my case, it was my little sister.
But stigma toward drug users, especially those who use heroin, is still strong. And this stigma can make it that much harder for people to come forward and get the help and support they need.
Most of us disapprove of heroin use, and many of us stigmatize users. While disapproval is lower for other drugs such as ecstasy (“molly”), cocaine and especially marijuana, 94%-99% of adults in the US disapprove of someone trying heroin even once or twice. Even frequent users of drugs such as ecstasy tend to stigmatize heroin use.
Although much of the public is undereducated about drugs, this disapproval is still understandable, as experts agree that heroin appears to be associated with a higher level of dependence and physical and social harm than any other drug. (And of course many would argue that much of this harm is in fact a result of punitive drug policy.)
Therefore, disapproval toward use is understandable – regardless of the reasons that someone started using. However, stigmatizing or ostracizing users, or saying they deserve to die, does not appear to help improve their condition, especially when the users are our friends or family.”
Read more at: http://theconversation.com/the-stigma-against-people-who-use-heroin-makes-it-harder-for-them-to-get-help-46906
Source: TheConversation.com – September 4, 2015