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Social Stigma and Discrimination Toward People With Drug Addiction: A National Survey in Korea

 Ki Won Jang  ;  Hae Kook Lee  ;  Byung Joo Park  ;  Hoon-Chul Kang  ;  Sang-Kyu Lee  ;  Chan-Hyung Kim  ;  Sang Kyu Nam  ;  Daeyoung Roh 
 PSYCHIATRY INVESTIGATION, Vol.20(7) : 671-680, 2023-07 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Discrimination ; Drug abuse ; Drug addiction ; Stigma ; Substance abuse
Objective: This study aims to understand the attitudes, stigma, and discrimination of the general adult population toward drug addiction.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional nationwide survey with 1,020 Korean adults using an Internet web-based panel. Self-reported data were collected on demographics, experience with substance abuse, perceptions of narcotic analgesic use, beliefs about the legalization of cannabis use, coping with substance abuse and addiction, and perceptions of drug risks. All statistical analysis in this study utilized the IBM SPSS Statistics 26 program.

Results: In this study, 1.6% of the participants reported abuse of opioid analgesics, 88.0% reported negative perceptions of drug addiction, and 76.9% reported agreeing to unfair treatment of drug addicts. Logistic regression analysis found that perceived stigma was more prevalent among women (odd ratio [OR]=2.087, p<0.01), old adults (OR=1.939, p<0.01), those with no personal experience of opioid misuse (OR=8.172, p<0.05), and those who were non-smoking (OR=2.011, p<0.01). In addition, the discriminatory attitude was more prevalent among participants with higher income (OR=1.989, p<0.001) and those who are non-smoking (OR=1.608, p<0.05).

Conclusion: This study provides information and guidelines for public intervention in drug addiction by identifying factors influencing social stigma and discriminatory behaviors toward drug addiction. The findings suggest that education on drug addiction prevention for the general adult population is necessary, and this education should include knowledge on coping with drug addiction and reducing stigma and discrimination toward drug addicts.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Pediatrics (소아과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kang, Hoon Chul(강훈철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3659-8847
Kim, Chan Hyung(김찬형)
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