Reducing stigma and discrimination for people who use alcohol and other drugs

September 2016

NDARC: Kari Lancaster and Professor Alison Ritter


Other investigators: 

 Dr Kate Seear, Faculty of Law, Monash University

Project description: 

This project, commissioned by the Queensland Mental Health Commission, aims to identify effective ways of reducing stigma and discrimination which has a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of Queenslanders experiencing problematic alcohol and other drug use. Specifically the research will examine:

  • How stigma and discrimination presents and manifests, including where it is not experienced;
  • The settings and sectors in which stigma and discrimination occurs;
  • The impacts of stigma and discrimination on mental health and wellbeing and in particular on recovery and the ability to reconnect with the community;
  • The commonalities and differences across varying types of drug use (for example alcohol vs illicit drug use);
  • The commonalities and differences experienced by different groups who experience problematic alcohol and other drug use; and
  • The evidence of what works to address stigma and discrimination.

This research will provide context-specific knowledge on the specific barriers and enablers to seeking and receiving help in Queensland, and will identify structural elements in policy and law that negatively impact on people experiencing problematic alcohol and other drug use. This will inform the work of the Queensland government as well as the broader literature on the relationship between stigma, discrimination, and alcohol and other drugs.