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Are some of the stigmas of addictions culturally sanctioned?

  • Patrick Corrigan (a1), Georg Schomerus (a2) and David Smelson (a3)
Summary

We provide three examples of how addiction stigma is sanctioned: (a) discrimination against people with addictions is often legal; (b) public health communications frequently use stigma to promote prevention; (c) some programmes, such as ‘12 steps’ promote self-stigma. The implications of sanctioned stigma for stigma-change programmes are then discussed.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Patrick Corrigan, 3424 S State Street, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, USA; Email: corrigan@iit.edu
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Lloyd, C. The stigmatization of problem drug users: a narrative literature review. Drugs Educ Prev Pol 2013; 20: 8595.
2 Keiny, M. UNGASS 2016 on the World Drug Problem: Focus on People, Public Health and Human Rights. WHO, 2015 (http://www.who.int/medicines/news/ungass2016-world-drug-problems/en/).
3 Schomerus, G, Lucht, M, Holzinger, A, Matschinger, H, Carta, MG, Angermeyer, MC. The stigma of alcohol dependence compared with other mental disorders: a review of population studies. Alcohol Alcohol 2011; 46: 105–12.
4 Callard, F, Arboleda-Flórez, J. Mental Illness, Discrimination and the Law: Fighting for Social Justice. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
5 Peterson, K. National Reforms Needed to Help Inmates Return Home. The PEW Charitable Trusts, 2005 (http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2005/01/14/national-reforms-needed-to-help-inmates-return-home).
6 West, ML, Yanos, PT, Mulay, AL. Triple stigma of forensic psychiatric patients: mental illness, race, and criminal history. Int J Forensic Ment Health 2014; 13: 7590.
7 Schomerus, G. The stigma of alcohol and other substance abuse. In The Stigma of Disease and Disability: Understanding Causes and Overcoming Injustices (ed Corrigan, P): 5772. American Psychological Association, 2014.
8 Gutman, N, Salmon, CT. Guilt, fear, stigma and knowledge gaps: ethical issues in public health communication interventions. Bioethics 2004; 18: 531–52.
9 Ralph, RO, Corrigan, PW. Recovery in Mental Illness: Broadening our Understanding of Wellness. American Psychological Association, 2005.
10 White, WL. Nonclinical addiction recovery support services: history, rationale, models, potentials, and pitfalls. Alcohol Treat Q 2010; 28: 256–72.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Are some of the stigmas of addictions culturally sanctioned?

  • Patrick Corrigan (a1), Georg Schomerus (a2) and David Smelson (a3)
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