Published on January 4, 2008
“Reducing Stigma by Focusing on Recovery: A Systems Approach”: “Reducing Stigma by Focusing on Recovery: A Systems Approach” SSDP VI Conference November 20, 2002 Washington, DC Stacia Murphy, President National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence STIGMA: Definitions: STIGMA: Definitions STIGMA: STIGMA stigma: a mark of shame or discredit Stigma is:: Stigma is: A term that refers to prejudice, discounting, discrediting and discrimination directed at people perceived to have an addiction problem and the individuals, groups and communities with which they are associated. (Adapted from Herrek, 1999) Stigma is:: Stigma is: People’s attitudes & perceptions of others that result in negative stereotyping, resulting in wanting to control and keep them separated. A negative attitude toward others, reinforced by behavior, that attempts to maintain power & control by diminishing self-worth. The perception of helplessness and hopelessness by the devaluation of the human spirit through the use of power and control. A negative belief that controls and dictates how you perceive yourself and others, based on differences, experiences, stereotypes and bias. A set of beliefs (stereotypes) that influence how one is treated or treats others. Stigma Is A Personal Experience: Stigma Is A Personal Experience Have you ever felt you were the object of stigma? How did you feel? What did you think? How long did the effect last/consequences? Multiple /Overlapping StigmasThe more minority labels you carry the more difficult it is to have a sense that you are a human being.: Multiple /Overlapping Stigmas The more minority labels you carry the more difficult it is to have a sense that you are a human being. ETHNICITY SEXUALITY GENDER CLASS CRIMINAL JUSTICE EXPERIENCE DRUG OF USE Slide8: EXTERNAL STIGMA INTERNALIZED STIGMA POWER CONTROL EXTERNAL STIGMA: HOW MANIFESTED: EXTERNAL STIGMA: HOW MANIFESTED Personal rejection Social ostracism Presence of authoritarian and punitive attitudes, laws, policies and practices Driven by: Ambivalence Fear Hostility (Devine, Plant and Harrison, 1999) External Stigma contd…: External Stigma contd… Increased by : Social disapproval Perception of behavior as voluntary Chronicity and progression (Adapted from Herrek, 1999) External Stigma contd…: External Stigma contd… These and other factors result in discrimination against people and communities with addiction problems. Based on ignorance and fear, this discrimination: detracts from the character or reputation of a person or group and is a mark of disgrace or reproach concerning something not considered normal or standard inadequate insurance coverage discrimination in employment and housing discrimination in education INTERNALIZED STIGMA: SHAME AND DENIAL: INTERNALIZED STIGMA: SHAME AND DENIAL Acceptance of stigma or label as fact Reduction in self-esteem and sense of self-worth Creates or heighten stress which may lead to other health risk such as panic or acute anxiety, depression, or inability to stop using alcohol and other drugs. CHANGING THE LENS: CHANGING THE LENS The challenge is to change the lens through which we view ourselves and others, eliminating limits placed on them and ourselves because of the multiple negative labels we apply to their condition, behavior, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or other characteristics that are different from us. Slide14: Through public education we can reduce stigma by: Providing accurate information about addiction in place of stigmatizing myths Lifting some of the social “taboos” against talking about addiction, treatment and recovery Helping people understand people with addictions as human beings Helping people recognize the reality and value of recovery Speaking out against stigmatizing language, statements, images or humor Helping people heal the effects of stigma in their own lives We must replace this:: We must replace this: STIGMA Disgrace Discredit Shame Scandal Indignity Dishonor Humiliation Debase Embarrass With this:: With this: Pride Self-Respect Poise Self-Confidence Self-Esteem Confidence Dignity Honor RECOVERY One day…: One day… We envision a society in which people with a history of alcohol or drug problems, people in recovery and people at risk for these problems are valued and treated with dignity and where stigma, accompanying attitudes, discrimination and other barriers to recovery are eliminated. We envision a society in which substance abuse and dependence is recognized as a public health issue, a treatable illness for which individuals deserve appropriate treatment. We envision a society in which high-quality services for alcohol and drug problems are widely available and where treatment is recognized as a specialized field of expertise.