Session Details

108H - Stigma Kills: Addressing Opioid and Substance Use Disorder by Changing Health System Culture

Wednesday, March 22

4:30–5:30 p.m.

Stigma generated and reinforced by healthcare leaders and practitioners reduces access to care and ultimately fuels the cycle of addiction for people with substance use disorders. Stigmatizing perceptions related to people with substance use disorders are amplified throughout the U.S. healthcare system by policymaking, systems design and workforce challenges. Meanwhile, the number of overdose deaths in U.S. communities continues to skyrocket. According to the CDC, over 107,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2021, a 15% increase from the previous record set the year before and far surpassing mortality from substances prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This session, led by a clinician and administrator with extensive experience in developing systems of care for people with addiction, will explore stigma and how it creates inadequate systems of care. Each participant will learn actionable steps they can take to dismantle stigma within their institutions, including how to use patient-first language, the importance of sharing patient stories, and local and site-level advocacy.

This session will be guided by the experience of the presenter in creating the REset Stigma Educational Tools (ReSET). The modules, funded by a grant from the Association of American Medical Colleges, are evidence-based, freely available and interactive online content designed to eliminate the stigma of patients with opioid use disorder. The presenter also led the Buprenorphine Team (“B-Team”), a multidisciplinary program that seeks to bolster substance use disorder treatment as standard of care during acute hospitalization.

Learning Objectives

  • Define the three main types of stigma, identify barriers to quality care that exist as a result of stigmatization and apply principles of change theory to reducing stigma.
  • Incorporate evidence-based approaches for eliminating stigma, including identifying opportunities for reducing structural stigma and modifying institutional and local policy.

Presented By

Richard Bottner, DHA, FACHE, PA-C, CPHQ

Richard Bottner, DHA, FACHE, PA-C, CPHQ

Director, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

Colorado Hospital Association