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Review of the effects of self-stigma and perceived social stigma on the treatment-seeking decisions of individuals with drug- and alcohol-use disorders

Authors Hammarlund R, Crapanzano KA, Luce L, Mulligan L, Ward KM

Received 9 August 2018

Accepted for publication 23 October 2018

Published 23 November 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 115—136

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/SAR.S183256

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Li-Tzy Wu


R Hammarlund,1 KA Crapanzano,2 L Luce,2 L Mulligan,2 KM Ward2

1Our Lady of the Lake Division of Academic Affairs, Baton Rouge, LA, USA; 2Department of Psychiatry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Abstract: Substance-use disorders are a public health crisis globally and carry with them significant morbidity and mortality. Stigma toward people who abuse these substances, as well as the internalization of that stigma by substance users, is widespread. In this review, we synthesized the available evidence for the role of perceived social stigma and self-stigma in people’s willingness to seek treatment. While stigma may be frequently cited as a barrier to treatment in some samples, the degree of its impact on decision-making regarding treatment varied widely. More research needs to be done to standardize the definition and measurement of self- and perceived social stigma to fully determine the magnitude of their effect on treatment-seeking decisions.

Keywords: self-stigma, perceived social stigma, substance-use disorders, treatment seeking

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