Experiences of Stigma among Individuals in Recovery from Opioid Use Disorder in a Rural Setting: A Qualitative Analysis

Document Type


Publication Date



rural, opioid use disorder, stigma, qualitative, substance use disorder, MRHRC

Publication Title

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment


This article captures the perspectives of individuals in recovery from opioid use disorder (OUD) residing in largely rural areas of Maine regarding the impact of stigma on their ability to access treatment services for OUD and maintain recovery. The authors conducted a content analysis of ten focus group sessions, which included two cohorts of postpartum women. Participants reported that stigmatizing experiences occurred in hospitals, government agencies, and pharmacies; and identified pharmacists/pharmacy technicians as the most frequent sources of stigma.

The authors recommend including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in anti-stigma training programs in rural areas. Additionally, they suggest rural areas consider hospital, government agency, and pharmacy settings as venues for anti-stigma interventions.

FMI: Amada Burgess, amanda.burgess@maine.edu