Drug Abuse and Addiction: One of America's Most Challenging Public Health Problems
Stigma of Drug Abuse

This is Archived Content. This content is available for historical purposes only. It may not reflect the current state of science or language from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Find current research and publications at nida.nih.gov.

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

Image of man

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