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NIDA Home > Drug Abuse and Addiction: One of America's Most Challenging Public Health Problems

Stigma of Drug Abuse


“There is no easy solution to the problem of stigma associated with drug addiction and its treatment…”
—Institute of Medicine
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It is because of stigma that:

  • Some people don’t get treatment.
  • Some doctors won’t treat addicts.
  • Some pharmaceutical companies won’t work toward developing new treatments for addicts.
“…The sense of stigma is most likely to diminish as a result of public education and broader acceptance of addiction as a treatable disease.”
—Institute of Medicine
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