Exploring Social Stigma toward Opioid and Heroin Users among Students Enrolled in Criminology, Nursing, and EMT/Paramedic Courses

Nathan E. Kruis, Jaeyong Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goal of the current study was to empirically assess social stigma toward opioid and heroin using persons with a sample of 743 students majoring in programs (i.e., criminology, nursing, and EMT/Paramedic) related to careers associated with first responders and healthcare providers. Consistent with the theoretical underpinnings of prior works, results from factor analyses revealed that there are four unique components of social stigma toward opioid and heroin users—dangerousness, blame, social distance, and fatalism. Additionally, findings from a series of multivariate regression models show that beliefs about addiction and exposure to heroin/opioid users are significant predictors of stigma toward opioid and heroin using persons. Results also suggest that students who associate drug use with minorities and unemployment tend to place greater social stigma on opioid and heroin users. Study limitations and implications regarding college coursework on substance use and addiction are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-340
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice Education
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Law

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