stigma explainer video stigma explainer video
At the heart of our broken system of drug policies lie underlying assumptions about people who use drugs. These negative stereotypes create the laws that prohibit drug use and influence how we treat people who use substances. Stigma is both individual and systemic—how we treat others, and how institutions like hospitals and the legal system treat people. These negative, inaccurate stereotypes of people who use drugs have been borne out in popular culture, media, and everyday interactions. They create barriers to accessing social and health services as people who feel stigmatized will be less likely to seek help and talk openly about their substance use. By changing the way we think, we can change the way we act.