Year: 2022 Source: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. (2022). 20, 2291–2305. SIEC No: 20220895
Death by suicide and opioid overdose has been associated with negative stigmatization. It is important to investigate whether a suicide death and a fatal opioid overdose share similar stigmatized reactions and how attitudes shape the public willingness to intervene in prevention and treatment efforts. Respondents were recruited for an online survey through convenience sampling and were randomly assigned to either respond to questions about suicide or opioid overdose death. Measurements included respondents’ attitudes toward suicide and opioid overdose decedents and their willingness to intervene. Results revealed that respondents were significantly more willing to intervene in a hypothetical case of a person at risk for suicide. There was greater stigmatization of individuals who died by opioid overdose compared to suicide. Considering that there remains little information about the complexities of stigma toward suicide and overdose, learning more about attitudes toward overdose deaths can also help us better understand how to change attitudes about individuals with substance use disorder.