“Even as America’s opioid epidemic has increased, the stigma surrounding substance-use disorders continues to be a major barrier to wider implementation of effective treatments that prevent overdoses and deaths.
The AMA Opioid Task Force offers a wealth of educational tools and practice resources to aid physicians in removing stigma surrounding opioid-use disorder and effective treatment for the condition.
Among them is a JAMA Viewpoint essay, “Confronting the Stigma of Opioid Use Disorder—and Its Treatment,” that provides insight on the harmful effects of stigma with medication-assisted treatment of opioid-use disorder.
The essay’s co-authors—Yngvild Olsen, MD, MPH, and Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD—describe four factors that contribute to stigma on opioid-use disorder and offer guidance on how they can be overcome.
- The understanding of opioid-use disorder as a medical illness is still overshadowed by its misconception as a moral weakness or a willful choice.
- The separation of opioid-use disorder treatment has meant clinicians overlook other health issues.
- Loaded language furthers stigma associated with the condition.
- The criminal justice system’s unwillingness to yield to medical judgment in the treatment of opioid-use disorders..
Source: AMA-ASSN.org – September 13, 2018