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Free Indiana University courses help tackle the stigma of addiction

by Demarco Moore

October 19, 2022
Indiana University free online courses for stigma of addiction

Over 1,600 people took online courses to reduce stigma around substance use disorders

The Indiana University School of Nursing is partnering with those behind their very own Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge to tackle the stigma of addiction. They’ll offer two online courses designed to help remove the stigma and negative stereotypes around addiction. More than 1,600 people have taken the online courses, which are open to the public free of charge.

Related: Reshaping the Ways we Talk About Addiction

As an extension of IU’s In This Together Project, the online courses serve as a “community resource for those wanting to learn more about the topic of substance use disorder,” according to a report from IU. The first course is for those interested in teaching others about addiction and the stigma surrounding it. The second course is designed for informing nurses and healthcare professionals of nursing practices related to substance use and addiction.

The goal is to eliminate negative stereotypes that paint addiction as a moral failing instead of a disease. IU hopes that the courses spark community conversations and remove the stigma preventing those struggling with addiction from pursuing treatment options like medical detox and inpatient rehab.

“Through conversation and courses like these, we hope to help eliminate stigma and assist one of our most vulnerable populations in receiving the support they need,” said Robin Newhouse, dean of the School of Nursing at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and lead investigator for IU’s Grand Challenge.

Anyone who completes the courses will receive a certificate of attendance.

people pointing fingers at a woman. Judgment is a stigma of addiction

Making room for community discussions around the stigma of addiction

The first course, “In This Together: Community Conversations to Reduce Stigma of Substance Use Disorder,” has two tracks – trainer and individual learner – designed for people interested in teaching others or informing themselves about the negative impact of addiction stigmas. Learners who complete the course will be able to:

  • Talk about three lessons related to SUDs and addiction treatment
  • Identify one action they can take as a result of completing the training
  • Describe the “In This Together” videos and community resources
  • State the community they wish to engage and the delivery method to present “In This Together”

Click here to find this course.


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Introducing addiction to healthcare professionals

The second course, titled “Substance Use Disorders: An Introduction for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals,” is designed for nurses in Indiana and nationwide, and also for healthcare professionals. It provides an overview of the public health crisis of addiction. This course also helps participants understand the role of nurses in treating addictions and SUDs, including:

  • Describing addiction in the context of a chronic disease
  • Recommending harm reduction strategies to patients and families
  • Identifying treatment options in their community
  • Describing strategies to soften the impact of stigma on people suffering from SUDs

Click here to find this course.

Overcoming shame and the stigma of addiction

Indiana University’s initiative is just one way to remove the obstacles preventing millions of Americans from seeking drug or alcohol addiction treatment. When we have open discussions about addiction, we make it easier for people suffering from its effects to move one step closer to a healthier life. We also help them distance themselves from a life of repeated substance use that can lead to unpredictable side effects and expose them to a fatal drug overdose or alcohol poisoning.

Learn more

If you or a loved one struggles to control your drug or alcohol use, call 888-448-0302 for immediate help from Landmark Recovery. Our dedicated admissions team is available 24/7 to answer your questions on our confidential phone line. If you live in or around Indiana, visit one of our rehab centers in the following communities:

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About the Author

Demarco Moore

Demarco Moore

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Demarco Moore currently writes blogs about drug addiction treatment and recovery to help save lives at treatment provider Landmark Recovery. Before that, he cut his teeth as a sports writer at the Manchester Times, where his coverage and stories won Tennessee Press Association awards in 2016 and 2017.

He’s always had a knack for storytelling. Moore’s written content for junior golf tournaments and helped to amplify the “People Not Profits” message of credit unions. When he’s not writing, Moore loves to travel, laugh and put his mental health into the hands of the Tennessee Titans during football season.