Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  Breaking News: FDA Approves Triumeq, New Once-Daily Combination Pill
  
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  •  (2)
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

International News

United Kingdom: Prejudice About Addiction Risks Thwarting New Policy

September 3, 2010

Stigma against drug users is a critical barrier to their treatment and social reintegration, according to the first installment of a four-part study by the independent UK Drugs Policy Commission (UKDPC).

Heroin and crack cocaine use, especially, can carry a "stigma life sentence," the report said. For instance, two-thirds of employers said they would not hire a former heroin or crack user, even if he or she were suitable in all other respects, an earlier UKDPC survey found.

Some Tory reformers criticize methadone maintenance therapy, in which users are prescribed methadone for a prolonged, indeterminate period, as "parking" drug users. While evidence for methadone maintenance is strong, stigma against it as a "non-treatment" limits its expansion and optimal delivery, according to studies the UKDPC report cited.

Advertisement
An abstinence-based approach to addiction treatment, reportedly being considered by Britain's new coalition government, could be undermined by stigmatizing attitudes, UKDPC warned.

The Department for Work and Pensions recently proposed docking the welfare benefits of drug users who do nothing about their addiction. The UK drugs minister, James Brokenshire, has acknowledged the importance of methadone programs in stabilizing problem drug users.

"Stabilizing users can then lead to a pathway of recovery where they are free of drugs and can contribute to society by gaining employment, not held in addiction," Brokenshire said.

"The supervised consumption of methadone in pharmacies provides a unique context in which users' status as problem drug users can be made public," the report said. Many clients of pharmacy-based methadone and syringe exchange programs felt "outed" and reported distrust or prejudice by pharmacy staff and fellow customers. Drinking pink liquid from a small cup at the pharmacy is hard to hide, and yet segregating methadone clients from other customers can also be stigmatizing, the report noted.

For the full report, "Sinning and Sinned Against: The Stigmatization of Problem Drug Users," visit: www.ukdpc.org.uk/resources/Stigma_Expert_Commentary_final.pdf.

Back to other news for September 2010

Adapted from:
The Guardian (London)
08.24.2010; Alan Travis


  
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  •  (2)
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
Ask Our Expert, David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., About Substance Use and HIV
More Research on Recreational Drugs and HIV/AIDS

 

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

Tools
 

Advertisement