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Are You Seeing Clearly? Refocus, Look Again: Anti-Stigma Training Pilot for Maryland’s OUD Treatment Community

Project Contact: Jennifer Brown & Katie Rouse

Recognizing that “SUDs, including OUD, are among the most stigmatized health conditions in the U.S., despite the many evidence-based treatment options,” The Anti-Stigma Project (ASP) of On Our Own of Maryland, Inc. has created a specialized version of our Stigma … In Our Work, In Our Lives interactive workshop, including the creation of a new educational video. We conducted 20 preliminary and nine final video interviews with persons with lived experience, family members, and OUD/MBT providers, to show the intersectionality of stigmatizing experiences, such as within the faith community and the healthcare system, and specific aspects of stigma, such as stigma based on which substance and which method of use, and MBT use during pregnancy. 

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The stories are thoughtful, sometimes heartbreaking, but above all, hopeful.  The finished video is now being used as part of the 2-hour webinar, which was first piloted for the research team in early April, and will be provided to ten OUD/MBT site partners between now and August, the first one taking place April 15th! Throughout the process, ASP staff have met regularly with researchers to strategize ways to better understand how participants are impacted by different elements of the workshop.  Our overall design has long incorporated two key factors in stigma reduction, education and contact, and our approach was found to have positive impact by a 2008 research study conducted with Dr. Patrick Corrigan, published in the  Community Mental Health Journal. We look forward to our continued work with the research team as well as our partnerships with the site partners, to continue to reduce the stigma that creates such significant barriers to recovery from substance use challenges. For more information on our public education campaign, check out or @refocuslookagain on social media. 

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