Internalized stigma and its correlates among treatment seeking opium users in India: A cross-sectional observational study.

07:00 EST 24th December 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Internalized stigma and its correlates among treatment seeking opium users in India: A cross-sectional observational study."

Opium has been used in India since ancient times for social, recreational, religious and medicinal purposes. Opium users seem to constitute a distinct sub-population among opioid users, who have minimal complications, better functioning and socio-cultural acceptance. Prominent levels of stigma have been reported against people who use opioid drugs, but the same cannot be extrapolated to opium users. There is a vast number of opium users in India, and it is prudent to understand the stigma faced by them to better address their problems. Hence, in the current study we aimed to assess the internalized stigma and its correlates among opium users who seek treatment at a tertiary care drug treatment centre in North India. 117 adult male participants having opioid dependence (opium being the most common opioid in last 3 months) were assessed using Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness (ISMI) scale - Hindi version. The stigma scores were in the mild to moderate range, which was less than that found in previous studies among heroin and alcohol users in similar setting. Moreover, higher stigma scores were associated with lower educational status and higher proportions of income spent on substances. This is the first study to document stigma among opium users. Further research needs to be conducted to understand the determinants of stigma in this population.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Asian journal of psychiatry
ISSN: 1876-2026
Pages: 86-90


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The air-dried exudate from the unripe seed capsule of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, or its variant, P. album. It contains a number of alkaloids, but only a few - MORPHINE; CODEINE; and PAPAVERINE - have clinical significance. Opium has been used as an analgesic, antitussive, antidiarrheal, and antispasmodic.

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