Sure - Canadian Substance Use Resource and Knowledge Exchange Centre

Healthcare workers and the media can greatly influence the way in which the public perceive people who use drugs (PWUDs). Therefore there is a need to address the language surrounding substance use disorders and drug addiction and those who use drugs. While the stigma around drug use has traditionally served as a deterrent, it is becoming increasingly recognised that the stigmatisation, discrimination and isolation of PWUDs has led to poorer health outcomes and further marginalisation. With the escalating opioid crisis in British Columbia, reframing the way in which we think about and describe PWUDs is a key component in reducing the stigma of drug use, and the subsequent reluctance of PWUDs to accessing healthcare.