Stigmatization & Media explains that news media frequently link individuals dependent on substances with various perspectives of violence, public disorder, poverty and trafficking, but leaves aside any social or psychological aspects that affect them mentally. It is imperative that news media also covers mental reprimands of substance use that affect dependent individuals’ thoughts, schemas, actions, values, and beliefs, and collectively combines to recreate or depersonalize their reality.
"A Deadly Game of Russian Roulette": Exploring the Framing of The Opioid Crisis in Canadian News Media explains that drug dealers and traffickers (both nationally and foreign) were negatively framed by the media. This has the effect of perpetuating societal discourses around the victimization of users and the criminalization of drug dealers, despite the evidence suggesting that the majority of opioid-related harms result from prescription opioids
Reporting on the opioid crisis (2000–2018): role of The Globe and Mail, a Canadian English-language newspaper in influencing public opinion is a study in which of all 650 articles, 22.3% (n= 145) referred to general statements of risk as evidence to support their claims and only 15.2% (n = 99) of articles referred to some form of scientific study as evidence.
Framing Science: How Opioid Research Is Presented in Online News Media ********presented that news media have often lack scientific research findings in their mainstream news coverage. They suggested that overall, opioid-related news was seldom contextualized, with few stories including details or bibliographic information about the studies they referenced. But the valid science frame, in particular, was often communicated by omitting details about the research referenced, rather than highlighting them.
Reporting on the opioid crisis (2000–2018): role of The Globe and Mail, a Canadian English-language newspaper in influencing public opinion explains that from 2009 to 2018, the use of stigmatizing language such as “junkies” and “abusers” in reviewed newspaper articles declined, as did the term “drug addict”. In 2012, the emergence of the terms “user” and “drug user” were used, and from 2016 onwards, the use of less stigmatizing terminology such as “people who use drugs” or “people who suffer from addiction” were used.
Stigmatization & Media is a comprehensive NGO guide to how media can remove the stigma surrounding substance dependence and provides various tips for stigma removal.
Public support for harm reduction: A population survey of Canadian adults is a study that predicted that greater media exposure to harm reduction in substance use was associated with lesser stigmatized attitudes towards individuals suffering from substance use disorder, which in turn was associated with greater support for harm reduction.
Drug policy and addiction media kit give newsrooms a resource for better coverage of drug use talks about a Media kit for media & communicators on how to avoid stigmatizing language when reporting on substance use.
As the opioid crisis continues to worsen across the nation, businesses have urged greater harm reduction policies by the government. In an interview with Amir Ali of Daily Hive, Jackie Haliburton, the owner of storefront Angel Vancouver has expressed her dissatisfaction with the city as she states, “the city is grossly out of touch when it comes to business owners like her struggling with theft and vandalism”. Business owners in the area exhibited great compassion and understanding of the complex issues that reside in the Downtown Eastside region, however, Haliburton states that the city has done little to support those that are suffering from substance dependency as there is a lack of treatment and recovery services provided. As a result, businesses owners have demonstrated strong leadership in supporting harm reduction approaches and voicing for a safe supply rollout. In the article released by Jeff Labine of Edmonton Journal, it is said that hundreds of businesses in Canada have scaled up harm reduction initiatives at their establishments by completing training for Naloxone administration in case an overdose situation should ever arise.
<aside> 💡 Check Below: To Read What Some Businesses Have Done As A Response To The Opioid Crisis