The Stigma of Addiction in the Medical Community

  • Jonathan D. AveryEmail author


The medical community has worse attitudes toward individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs), whom they frequently treat, than toward individuals with other medical or psychiatric conditions. This is concerning, as when clinicians have negative attitudes toward these patients, quality of care declines substantially. There are many reasons for these negative attitudes toward individuals with SUDs, including clinicians’ lack of exposure to individuals in recovery, lack of time and resources to adequately care for patients with SUDs, poor role models and mentorship, and perception of substance misuse as a moral failing. There are a number of potential strategies to improve this stigma. Efforts should be made to increase awareness of negative attitudes, provide forums to discuss common attitudes, continue to increase and improve addiction treatment options, and intervene at all levels of professional development.


Substance use disorders Addiction Stigma Hidden curriculum Medical education 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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