Exploring first responders' perceptions of medication for addiction treatment: Does stigma influence attitudes?

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Researchers have suggested that provider-based stigma of persons who suffer from opioid use disorder (OUD) in the criminal justice system serves as a barrier to fully implementing harm reduction strategies, such as the use of naloxone and medication for addiction treatment (MAT). While scholars have begun to explore the relationships between stigma and first responders' attitudes toward naloxone, little work has been done to assess first responders' attitudes toward other forms of harm reduction, including MAT. The goal of the current exploratory study was to help fill this gap in the literature by assessing first responders' (N = 282) attitudes toward MAT, as well as the correlates of these attitudes. The study specifically focused on examining the relationship between provider-based stigma and attitudes toward MAT. Results show that, in the aggregate, first responders held slightly negative attitudes toward the use of MAT. Moreover, the study found that certain dimensions of stigma (i.e., dangerousness and fatalism) to exhibit a negative relationship with attitudes toward MAT, while support for the disease model of addiction was associated with positive perceptions. Policy implications based on these findings are discussed within.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108485
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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