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Drug injection, syringe source, and self-stigma in New York City

People with substance use problems are widely stigmatized, a harmful societal notion reinforced by media depictions of drug use, misguided public policy, and punishments by criminal justice systems. Drug-related stigma is highly present for people who inject drugs (PWID), likely due in part to its association with HIV. On top of this, PWID often feel ashamed of their habits. This “self-stigma” encourages PWID to hide their addiction, avoiding crucial treatment and social support. This week, as part of our Special Series on Stigma and Addiction, we review a study by Alexis Rivera and colleagues that investigated which injection risk behaviors and demographic factors are associated with self-stigma among PWID in New York City. (STASH, Vol. 15(5), 14.05.2019)