Lessons Learned Report: Preventing and Reducing Stigma of Substance Use in Rural Communities

Stigma disproportionately influences health outcomes and mental well-being for individuals with substance use disorder. Fear of being judged and/or discriminated against can prevent people from getting the help they need. According to results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 20.5% of people with substance use disorder do not seek treatment because of negative consequences associated with their work; 17% do not seek treatment for fear of negative judgements by friends or community. It can also prevent caregivers and others from providing needed services, including medical care.

To decrease the impact of stigma, the Region 5 Great Lakes PTTC offered a Community of Practice to provide rural communities in Region 5 an opportunity to learn from one another and to foster the implementation of anti-stigma initiatives. The goal was to promote the use of evidence-based strategies for the prevention and reduction of stigma and provide an opportunity for group problem solving.

This report shares the lesson learned in the Community of Practice. 

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