A lengthy review of research on stigma and addiction:
A key conclusion from this review is that stigmatisation matters. We feel rejection exquisitely because we are deeply social in our makeup and are unavoidably responsive to the behaviours, expressions and words of others. Stigmatisation therefore has a serious impact on the lives of those it afflicts. . . . To be a problem drug user, addict, junkie or drug abuser is to have a master status that greatly affects one’s interactions with others: with members of the public, nurses, doctors, pharmacists and police officers alike. It is a status that obscures all others, and it is a status that frequently incites disgust, anger, judgment and censure in others. No wonder then that stigmatisation has a profound effect on drug users: certainly on their sense of self-worth and probably on their ability to escape addiction.