Stigma can result in drug users and their families feeling isolated and it can prevent them from seeking the support and treatment they need. It can also hinder the recovery of drug users, making it harder to reintegrate in their community or find paid employment.
In our 2012 members survey, some 41% of respondents said that stigma had been a barrier to seeking help for a relative.
We all have a responsibility to tackle stigma. You can do so simply by seeking support for yourself and your drug using relative. You can also write to the media, or speak out if you feel stigmatised by health professionals.
Due to stigma it can be difficult for relatives of people who are misusing drugs to talk about their experiences and worries to their family, friends or colleagues. A family support group will offer a safe place to meet and share with others in a similar situation.