holding an elderly relative's hand

Combating the Opioid Crisis: Addressing Stigma

Originally presented on November 15, 2018

Allan Clear
, Director
AIDS Institute's Office of Drug User Health
New York State Department of Health

Robert Suarez, Community Leader
Peer Network of New York/VOCAL-NY

The nation’s opioid crisis has had a significant impact across New York State. In 2016, there were 3,057 opioid overdose hospitalizations and 8,456 such outpatient emergency department visits, and New York experienced an almost 40 percent rise in the number of opioid overdose deaths between 2015 and 2016. Many programs such as accessible buprenorphine, overdose prevention (i.e. naloxone kits), syringe access and medication assisted treatment and other treatment programs seek to mitigate the effects of drug use. Yet many People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) may not be able maximize the benefit from these efforts nor succeed in drug treatment because of the high level of stigma they experience across all aspects of their lives. The New York State Office of Drug User Health has used harm reduction and anti-stigma approaches to reduce the level of harm associated with substance use. These approaches promote acceptance and focus on reducing stigma and adverse consequences of drug use. This webcast will provide an overview of how stigma negatively affects PWUD and provide strategies for reducing stigma as key strategy for addressing the opioid crisis.

Learning Outcome
As a result of this activity, the learner will expand their knowledge and competence on how stigma negatively affects people who use drugs across all aspects of their lives and strategies for reducing stigma, such as harm reduction.

Learning Objectives
After viewing the webcast participants will be able to:

  • Describe how stigma affects people who use drugs;
  • Identify the health related consequences of stigma for people who use drugs;
  • Name at least two actions one health-care professionals and first responders can take to reduce stigma related to drug use in their setting.

Target Audience
Physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, local health department and community health workers, social workers and others that work with families of people who use drugs.

Continuing Education Credits expired for this activity on 11/30/2021.