- Substance Use Disorder (SUD), formerly known as addiction or substance abuse, is a treatable medical condition, but fewer than 1 in 10 Tennesseans with SUD receive treatment.
- Stigma can lead to a view of those with SUD as weak-willed, unmotivated, and unlikely to recover. However, the reality is that about 60% of people with SUD experience full remission.
- Treatment is also fiscally sound: every $1 spent on evidence-based treatment for SUD saves $12 in healthcare and criminal justice costs.
- How we talk about SUD is the beginning of reducing stigma. Using person-first language such as “people with substance use disorder” as opposed to harmful words like “addict” or “junkie” is a start.
- The Recovery Research Institute’s “Addictionary” is an excellent resource for clinicians, policymakers, judicial authorities, and other stakeholders to refer to when seeking to destigmatize their vocabulary.
See report attached, and for additional information, visit https://smart.tennessee.edu/policy-briefs/the-cost-of-stigma/.
Kourvelas, Jeremy; Myers, Carole R. Dr.; Cahill, Katie; Derefinko, Karen J. PhD; Pack, Robert PhD; Moore, Kelly E. PhD; and Tourville, Jennifer, "The Cost of Stigma" (2021). SMART Policy Briefs.