Funding Information

No funding sources were used for this project.


Opioid-related deaths are the leading cause of injury deaths in Utah. Individuals who seek treatment for opioid misuse report stigma from healthcare professionals as the leading barrier to accessing treatment. Health professionals provide a variety of treatment options in efforts of combating high rates of opioid misuse. However, these professionals may not be properly trained in stigma reduction strategies, thus leading to poor client care and outcomes. The current study examined the association between contact with individuals who misuse opioids and stigma perceptions among healthcare professionals. A one-time survey was administered to healthcare professionals who practice in Utah using convenience sampling. The results of an Ordinary Least Square regression analysis showed that increased contact with individuals who misuse opioids significantly predicted decreased opioid-related stigma among healthcare professionals. Our findings suggest that increased contact with persons who misuse opioids can lead to decreased stigma, which may lead to improved quality of care and treatment outcomes among patients. Findings also suggest that behavioral healthcare professionals may have decreased stigma overall. These results support the notion that healthcare providers need additional opioid and substance use education and training to complement traditional treatment strategies they may typically utilize.