Stigma toward cocaine use in Mexico City: does gender matter?

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Stigma toward those using cocaine and other substances remains a barrier to treatment and social inclusion. As part of a larger study exploring stigma toward those experiencing symptoms of various DSM5 diagnoses an experimental vignette methodology was used to examine factors associated with stigma toward individuals using cocaine in Mexico. Results from the subset of 66 individuals who were randomly assigned a vignette featuring cocaine use indicate that the gender of person using cocaine was not associated with differential levels of stigma. Lower levels of stigma were reported by respondents who had familiarity with mental health and substance use issues and by those endorsing higher levels of spirituality. Having a high school education or beyond was associated with greater stigma. Public health and education efforts are needed to inform community members and service providers about how stigma could affect addiction treatment and recovery. Implications for practice and research are explored.


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