Universities are working to end the stigma.
Just because someone has an opioid overdose does not mean that they are an addict. In the University of Rochester School of Nursing, program director Craig Sellers actually wants to avoid using the term addict. He said that addiction is not caused by a lack of character, instead it is an issue with healthcare. Patients usually take more than their prescribed opioid medications because they are not aware of the severe side effects. With the right education and the right awareness, patients will better understand how they should use these medications.
Another program in the University of Cincinnati also wants to reduce the negative stigma attached to drug overdose. In their program, they intend to teach the neurobiology of addiction.