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Understanding the Impact of Stigma on Addiction Treatment

Explore how to reduce stigma, a significant barrier to treating patients with addiction, to improve your quality of care.

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Learn how to provide patient-centred care

Stigma negatively affects access to care and the quality of treatment received by patients with a substance use disorder (SUD).

On this two-week course, you’ll explore the stigma surrounding addiction and how our society affects public perception through its approach to the disease.

You’ll then learn how to reduce stigma and provide individualised, patient-centred care by viewing SUD through the lens of other chronic relapsing illnesses.

As a healthcare provider in addiction medicine, you have a responsibility to educate yourself and others about the science of evidence-based treatment for SUD. This knowledge will help you foster appropriate attitudes and a sense of professional commitment to treating patients with SUD.

Explore how stigmatising language affects those with SUD

You’ll learn how to identify common stigmatising language, and how these words can negatively influence a healthcare providers’ perception of those with a substance use disorder.

You’ll also explore the impact of this stigma on the patients with SUD, especially as a deterrent to seeking or continuing treatment.

Learn to foster appropriate attitudes with the American Society of Addiction Medicine

With a solid understanding of the impact of stigma, you’ll learn how to eliminate stigmatising language and begin to foster more positive attitudes towards treating SUD.

Learning from the experts at The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), you’ll have a deeper understanding of how to provide better quality care for patients with addiction.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Understanding the Impact of Stigma

    • Course Introduction

      You will begin by exploring the issues of stigma, bias, and discrimination as they impact people seeking treatment for substance use disorder.

    • Initial Reactions to Stigma

      Watch and reflect on internal biases and stigma that may come up prior to learning about the stigma which impacts patients.

    • Understanding Impact of Stigma on Treatment of SUD

      In this section, you will explore the impact of stigma on patients seeking treatment for SUD experience.

    • Types of Stigma

      In this section, you will learn about the types of stigma and how they interact to impact the treatment of patients with substance use disorders.

    • Case Spotlight

      Watch and reflect on patient and provider voices regarding SUD and stigma.

    • Key Takeaways

      Take time to reflect on what you have learned about the impact of stigma on the treatment of patients with substance use disorder.

  • Week 2

    How to Eliminate Stigmatizing Language

    • Week Introduction

      This week, you will examine ways to eliminate stigmatizing language in your practice or clinical setting. You will learn to utilize person-first language to help mitigate the impact of stigma.

    • Stigma as Social Death

      In this section, you will recognize how stigmatizing language impacts access to care and treatment received by patients with substance use disorder.

    • Eliminating Stigmatizing Language

      In this section, you will learn to reconsider the language you use to mitigate stigma.

    • Key Takeaways

      Take time to reflect on what you have learned regarding how to use language to reduce stigma in your practice.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate understanding of the definition of stigma and its effect on the treatment of patients with substance use disorder.
  • Explore treatment inequities among marginalized groups.
  • Discuss the types of stigma and how they interact with one another to impact patient treatment.
  • Identify examples of commonly used language that is stigmatizing to patients seeking treatment.
  • Explore ways to eliminate stigmatizing language in your practice or clinical setting.
  • Demonstrate understanding of how to incorporate person-first language into your practice or clinical setting.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for those who treat patients with addiction.

It is best suited for those who are new to addiction medicine, such as primary care physicians, clinicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and behavioral health specialists.

Develop your understanding of addiction medicine even further with these courses from the American Society of Addiction Medicine:

Who will you learn with?

Director of Behavioral Sciences in Family Medicine
Integrated Behavioral Health Specialist
Researcher, Clinician, and Educator in Addiction and Behavioral Integration

Who developed the course?

American Society of Addiction Medicine

The American Society of Addiction Medicine is a professional medical society representing over 7,000 physicians, clinicians, and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine.

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