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Stigmatised attitudes in independent pharmacies associated with discrimination towards individuals with opioid dependence

  • Jason Luty (a1), Pramod Kumar (a2) and Konstantinos Stagias (a1)

Abstract

Aims and method

Dispensing of methadone to individuals with opioid dependence is a discretionary service and many independent pharmacies remain unwilling to do this. We aimed to determine whether there was any correlation between negative stigmatised attitude towards these individuals and the likelihood of methadone dispensing. The 20-point Attitude to Mental Illness Questionnaire (AMIQ) was used to assess stigmatised attitudes in a cluster randomised sample of managers of community pharmacies in England.

Results

The response rate was 66%. The AMIQ stigma scores had a median difference of 1 and effect size of 0.42 in favour of those pharmacies which dispensed methadone (mean = 0.53; n = 138) compared with those who did not (mean = 0.93; n = 69; P <0.001).

Clinical implications

The results show a clear behavioural distinction (discrimination) based on stigmatised attitudes towards individuals with opioid dependence. This may arise because managers with stigmatised attitudes refuse to dispense methadone to this group. Conversely, familiarity with these individuals may have a de-stigmatising effect.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Stigmatised attitudes in independent pharmacies associated with discrimination towards individuals with opioid dependence

  • Jason Luty (a1), Pramod Kumar (a2) and Konstantinos Stagias (a1)
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