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Stigma in Health Care Case

Stigma often surrounds addiction, sometimes viewed as being a condition of weakness and moral corruption that individuals choose to take on. Unfortunately, addiction is a disease of which anyone is vulnerable.

People enter treatment at a vulnerable moment, yet as described in the web link: Stigma article … “for far too long, those people who did seek treatment, often following a crisis, found no appropriate reception from the medical community. Doctors were slow to recognize addiction as treatable”

This process can promote areas of competence for the clinician. Some areas of professionalism to be acquired by the clinician include a more comprehensive understanding of regulations, a respect for legal and confidential requirements developing and enhancing collaborative relationships in a variety of disciplines and providing suggestions regarding the delivery of services. Among the knowledge, skills and attitude required to be a competent clinician is demonstrating a willingness to advocate for the client. One of the core competencies is the ability to respect for the personal nature of the information shared by the client.

You just completed an intake with Jonathan, a client who has entered your inpatient treatment facility voluntarily. Until approximately two years ago, Jonathan was successful in his business career and had only used marijuana and cocaine infrequently. After he was laid off from his job Jonathan began using cocaine more regularly and shortly thereafter began using every day. He states that he is extremely fearful about entering treatment but he plans on “doing whatever it takes’ to get his life back on track. During a clinical team meeting, you review your notes from the intake, present your assessment, and list issues you plan to address in the next session with Jonathan. One of your peers responds by saying “Boy these addicts, especially the coke-heads are really fascinating aren't they? This guy had everything, blows it all on drugs, and has the nerve to be afraid to enter treatment.”
What feelings does this comment invoke in you?
How would you respond to your peer?

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