JCOIN Research Update: Opioid Use Disorder Stigma, Discrimination, and Policy Attitudes in a National Sample of U.S. Young Adults

Stigma and attitudes about addiction contribute to the availability and accessibility of treatment for individuals with substance use disorders. A 2020 study from NORC at the University of Chicago and Indiana University sought to understand attitudes about opioid use disorder among 190 young adults aged 19-29 across the United States.

Key Findings:

  1. The study found that stigma is associated with higher levels of discrimination towards people with opioid use disorders (OUD).
  2. Stigma was also associated with less support for public health policies around addiction.
  3. Younger adults had lower levels of stigma than older counterparts.
  4. Those with lived experience, whether it be a history of opioid use or having a loved one with OUD, had lower levels of both stigma and discrimination.


Read the journal article

Dr. Bruce Taylor Presentation: Opioid Use Disorder Stigma, Discrimination and Policy Attitudes


This summary is based on the findings from the following publication:

Adams, Z. W., Taylor, B. G., Flanagan, E., Kwon, E., Johnson-Kwochka, A. V., Elkington, K. S., Becan, J. E., & Aalsma, M. C. (2021). Opioid use disorder stigma, discrimination, and policy attitudes in a national sample of U.S. young adults. The Journal of Adolescent Health: Official Publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 69(2), 321–328.