What is Stigma? We Asked a Top Stigma Researcher.



What is Stigma? We asked a top stigma researcher.


Substance use disorder (SUD) is one of the most stigmatized psychiatric conditions on earth. Yet many do not understand the effects of stigma on individuals and families, or how we can stop it. Dr. Valerie Earnshaw from the University of Delaware explains that stigma "emerges at the co-occurence of labeling, stereotyping, separation, status loss and discrimination within a power context." Stigma occurs when a certain characteristic or a chronic illness like substance use disorder is seen as an "indicators of a tarnished character or certain people being seen as less than or worse than other people," Dr. Earnshaw futher explains.

How Do We Stop Stigma?