Stigma work by researchers showcased at Shatterproof’s Addiction Stigma Summit

WYOMISSING, Pa. — Two faculty members at Penn State Berks, Jennifer Murphy, associate professor and chair of the criminal justice department, and Brenda Russell, professor of psychology, had their stigma work with students showcased at Shatterproof’s Stigma of Addiction Summit earlier this summer. Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming addiction treatment, ending stigma, and supporting communities.

Selected from 25 different abstracts submitted for the summit, Murphy and Russell’s submission was selected as one of the five winners. As part of the summit’s Innovation session, Murphy and Russell presented the project to summit attendees. Their submission focused on educational training for college students that reduced substance use disorder (SUD) stigma.

“The training sessions targeted students majoring in criminal justice, psychology, or human services because students in those majors would likely enter professions where they must interact with people who have SUD,” said Murphy.

Students attended a three-hour session that included education about SUD and treatment, speakers in recovery, and naloxone training.

“By educating students before they enter mental health and criminal justice professions, this could help increase additional knowledge and reduce stigma among those professional groups,” noted Russell. “We found that after we held these sessions, students were more comfortable using naloxone and understanding the stigma around SUD.”

The session about the project can be viewed on YouTube.

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