Opioid Epidemic Stigma Perpetuated by Social Media

Opioid Epidemic Stigma Perpetuated by Social Media
You’ve seen them. The exposure of devastating images of addiction, especially photos and videos of people overdosing or near-death, sometimes with their children nearby. In some instances, the posted or shared pictures and videos were posted by law enforcement or first responders. Questions have been raised as to why it is acceptable to post images that feature people with addiction. People are questioning whether the same situation would arise if people were found to be in medical emergency situations that involve a diabetic, or asthma. It is acceptable for a bystander to post similar images on social media too? According to Samuel A. Ball, PhD,President and CEO of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, the stigma of addiction will remain strong because some of its symptoms result in real risk or harm to others. But more of the stigma of addiction, which is also true of obesity, comes...
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Researchers Hope to Reduce Opioid Abuse in Pain Patients Through Social Media

Researchers Hope to Reduce Opioid Abuse in Pain Patients Through Social Media
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) will study whether social media can help reduce opioid abuse in patients with chronic pain, according to Science . UCLA’s Harnessing Online Peer Education (HOPE) program is designed to use the power of social media to improve public health. In a separate study, HOPE researchers found social media can be helpful in increasing HIV testing. In a 12-week pilot project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, HOPE researchers will recruit about 60 patients with chronic pain who are on long-term opioid therapy and have reported other behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse that put them at high risk for addiction. Each participant will be asked to log into a private Facebook group. They can share posts, comments, pictures and private messages among themselves, and with eight peer role models who are also on long-term opioid therapy. The researchers will...
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