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Reducing Stigma and Using Harm Reduction When Working with People Who Use Opioids

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The words we choose have an impact. How we talk about drug use and people who use drugs is informed by our preconceived notions and internalized biases. When we use words like “clean,” we necessarily imply that the opposite is “dirty.” Opioid Use Disorder continues to be a highly stigmatized medical condition, despite many advancements in our understanding of the neurobiological, social, and environmental determinants that impact individual health. People with an Opioid Use Disorder continue to report high rates of discrimination from medical providers, service denials from government entities, and continued unfair targeting by law enforcement. The ramifications of stigma in care environments are far reaching and further compound the opioid crisis. During this workshop, participants will explore personal biases related to opioid use and examine the way that these biases present in language. We will consider the effects that stigmatizing speech and actions have on people who use drugs, and we will discuss how to create an affirming environment that will enhance care for people who use drugs. Registration fee  includes a continental breakfast and lunch.
Location: Hutchinson Center, Belfast
Organizer: AdCare
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