Read About Recent Research on Stigma and Opioid Use Disorder

More than 450 clinicians and counselors in rural New England were surveyed about stigma as a barrier to treating patients for opioid use disorder (OUD) as well as practitioners’ beliefs about medications for OUD.  Over half (55 percent) ranked stigma as the highest barrier among other factors such as time and staffing, medication diversion, and organizational/clinic barriers. Many clinicians (60 percent) and counselors (51 percent) disagreed that medications for opioid use disorder “replace addiction to one kind of drug with another.”  But among clinicians with the ability to prescribe, there was a significant difference in this belief depending on whether they were currently treating with medications for OUD (MOUD).  More than 80 percent of those currently treating with MOUD believed it is not an addiction replacement; among those not currently treated with OUD, fewer than half felt that way.  The study was conducted by the FORHP-supported Center on Rural Addiction at the University of Vermont.

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