Journal of Studies on Alcohol
Visitors (N = 579) to a science center read selected scenarios and evaluated the most likely outcome for a hypothetical substance abuser. Respondents were randomly assigned to one of six scenario conditions: a person with one of three different substance abuse problems (alcohol, tobacco, or cocaine) was crossed with two labels reflecting high or low substance dependence. Results indicated that: (1) cigarettes were viewed as a less serious substance abuse problem than were alcohol or cocaine (a person who smoked cigarettes was rated as more likely to recover from his problem, self-change was regarded as more appropriate and less stigma was associated with smoking than with the other two drugs); (2) non-abstinent recoveries of all types were greeted with skepticism; and (3) recovery was rated as more likely to occur from treatment than from self-change.
Cunningham, J. A.,
Sobell, L. C.,
Chow, V. M.
(1993). What's In A Label? The Effects of Substance Types and Labels on Treatment Considerations and Stigma. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 54(6), 693-699.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cps_facarticles/798