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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 492-496
The perceived stigma of addiction and treatment utilization among cannabis addicts in Thailand

1 Department of Occupational Health and Safety, Faculty of Public Health, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand
2 Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
3 Faculty of Medicine, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Suneerat Yangyuen
Faculty of Public Health, Mahasarakham University, 41/20, Khamriang Sub-District, Kantarawichai District, Mahasarakham 44150
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_532_19

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Context: Amajor social problem among clients with substance use disorders is stigmatization related to health conditions, which contributes to poor mental and physical health circumstances and becomes hazardous to substance abuse treatment. Meanwhile, decreased stigmatization among cannabis users might occur because some people use cannabis without experiencing harm or believe it to be a harmless substance and might not be receiving treatment. Several studies have investigated stigma toward substance use disorder and treatment. However, less is known about how stigmatization influences treatment. Aims: To investigate the association between the perceived stigma of addiction and treatment utilization among cannabis addicts. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional design was conducted with consecutive sampling techniques among 977 cannabis users recruited from all 7 compulsory drug detention centers in Thailand. The data were collected by standardized interviewers with a structured interviewing questionnaire. Binary logistic regression was applied to determine the effect of perceived stigma of treatment utilization. Results: Most clients were male (84.5%), had a family history of drug problems (54.5%), and had a history of mental health problems (5.1%). Most of them reported moderate-to-high levels of perceived stigma (87.2%) and received treatment (28.9%). Greater perceived stigma was associated with decreased treatment for cannabis abuse Conclusions: The perceived stigma of addiction is a barrier to cannabis abuse treatment utilization. Thus, a better understanding of stigma could reduce its negative impact on seeking and engaging in treatment.

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