MAT's Not For Me: Addressing Stigma Toward MAT within the Recovery Community



Substance use disorder (SUD) remains a highly stigmatized medical condition in the US.  One of the most effective methods of treatment for SUD, specifically for opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder, is medication assisted treatment (MAT).  However, MAT as a treatment pathway is itself stigmatized, both with the public and within the recovery community.  Due to this stigmatized perspective, individuals who could benefit from participating in MAT can be dissuaded from initiation or encouraged by non-medical personnel to modify their treatment regimen.  Social support remains a critical component in the treatment of SUD. However, those within the recovery community who would traditionally lend support for those with SUD in their recovery process may moderate their support for those within an MAT pathway.  This session will discuss the stigma that those with SUD face, and it will focus on the stigmatized perspective toward MAT as a treatment pathway.  The presenter will discuss preliminary results from a recent study that examines perspectives from the SUD recovery community toward MAT, exploring how this stigma may interrupt or moderate social support for those who greatly need this component in their recovery. The session finishes with recommendations for addressing stigma toward MAT.

Learning Objectives:

1. Articulate the components of stigma

2. Understand the three types of stigma

3. Acknowledge how stigma can impact social support

4. Recognize and address stigma toward medication assisted treatment

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