Stigma, discrimination and help-seeking behaviour
The way in which a person who uses AOD is described or portrayed can have an impact on an individual’s self-esteem, as well as shape community perceptions.
Inaccurate or alarmist portrayals of AOD in the media can cause moral panic and can lead to the stigmatisation of people using AOD and their families.
Reducing stigma and misconceptions can be extremely beneficial in empowering individuals to remove barriers to help-seeking. It can also support families and loved ones of those who use AOD, as well as influence policy and funding for AOD services and programs in Australia.
Language, images, footage and various terminology can lead to the stigmatisation of individuals or groups of individuals. As a result, discrimination, whether it is done in an overt or covert manner.