RICARES Stigma Training

RICARES offers two anti-stigma trainings which can be offered online or in-person.

To inquire about scheduling a training and rates, email Jon Soske at jsoske@ricares.org


“Getting the Story Right: Journalists and the Language of Addiction”

Designed to introduce journalists to the Associated Press guidelines and writing about substance use in a humane and non-stigmatizing fashion.

This one-hour training introduces editors, journalists, and other members of the press to the 2017 Associated Press Guidelines for person-first and medically accurate language when writing about addiction. Drawing on the latest research, this training describes the dramatic negative impact of stigma on our ability to respond to the overdose crisis and the role that language plays in perpetuating discrimination against people with Substance Use Disorders. This training highlights common inaccurate media portrayals of addiction and emphasizes the role of the press in shaping how society talks about public health issues. 


“Words Matter: Language, Stigma, and Discrimination against People with Substance Use Disorders”

Designed for clinicians, health care workers, and community organizations working with people who use drugs.

Words Matter provides an in-depth introduction to stigma against people with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) and how it limits people in seeking treatment and recovery. In contrast to trainings that use a (scientifically controversial) implicit bias framework, RICARES’s workshop focuses on the practical impact of stigma on relationships and interpersonal power dynamics in community, treatment, and other health care settings. Topics addressed include:

  • The multilevel structure of stigma and discrimination against people with SUDs
  • The intersection of stigma with racism and other modes of social marginalization
  • Negative stereotypes about SUDs and their scientific inaccuracy
  • The importance of person-first and medically accurate language
  • The public health and personal impact of stigma

RICARES works closely with each agency or community organization to tailor the training for its staff and particular context. Employing a process-based approach that encourages self-reflection, this training equips participants to think about the destructive effect of stigma and provides easy, practical strategies to combat stigma in the course of their everyday work. The length of the training is 2-3 hours depending on the setting.