Population Health Research Brief Series

“He’s Not Marrying my Daughter”: Stigma against People in Recovery from Substance Use Disorder

Austin McNeill Brown
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KEY FINDINGS

  • We are generally unwilling to accept people who are recovering from substance use disorders into our social and professional circles.
  • People in recovery, regardless of the label used to describe them, may experience social distancing from others as the intimacy of the relationship increases.
  • In an experimental study, vignettes that described substance use recovery in any form prompted a greater desire for social distance. In contrast, the control group vignette that did not mention substance use or recovery at all elicited no desire for social distance under any context.

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Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health is Better in States that Mandate More School Mental Health Policies

Stephanie Spera and Shannon Monnat
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Key findings:

  • States with more mandated mental health policies in public schools have significantly lower adolescent suicide and substance abuse rates.
  • States that mandate school-based mental health centers, professional development in suicide prevention, and social-emotional curriculums have significantly lower adolescent suicide and substance abuse rates.
  • Mandated anti-bullying and family engagement policies are also associated with significantly lower adolescent suicide rates.

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We Need to Change the Language we use to Describe Individuals with Substance Use Issues

Austin McNeill Brown
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KEY FINDINGS

  • Terms like “Substance Abuser,” “Alcoholic and “Addict” stigmatize people with substance use issues.
  • Health care professionals, individuals with addictions, individuals in recovery, and the general public all associate negative bias with terms like “addict” and “abuser”.
  • Person-first language such as “person with a substance use disorder” should be used by professionals to describe populations with substance use issues.
  • Health care professional should also use caution with terms like “Relapse” and “Medication Assisted Treatment” as those terms are associated with negative bias.

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Results from the SU Health & Wellness Goal Survey

Shannon Monnat, Mary Kate Lee, Ashley Van Slyke, and Alexandra Punch
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KEY FINDINGS

  • Increasing physical activity is the top-ranked health and wellness goal at SU.
  • Improving diet and nutrition and better managing stress were also highly prioritized.
  • Graduate students were more likely than other groups to report having goals to be kinder to themselves and to improve their mood.
  • Females were more likely than males to report having goals to improve their diet and nutrition and better manage stress.
  • Males were more likely than females to report having goals to improve family relationships, improve relationships with others, and reduce alcohol consumption.

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