Nursing Students' Beliefs About Substance Use Disorders
Elchuk, Stephanie Ann
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Persons with substance use disorder (SUD) are subject to stigma and judgement. Stigma worsens clinical outcomes, undermines life opportunities, and decreases well-being of persons who use substances (Corrigan, Schomerus, Shuman, Kraus, Perlick et al., 2017). This meta-narrative reports on the beliefs of nine fourth year nursing students, using direct quotations to express salient beliefs about SUD, recovery, and nursing. Participants' beliefs evolved throughout the lifespan, with a significant shift in understanding occurring in response to education. SUD is seen as a biopsychosocial condition which is not a choice, but rather an attempt to cope with, or escape from, challenging life circumstances. Participants were reluctant to address stigma in their personal and professional lives. It is recommended nursing students are prepared to address workplace and societal stigma. Due to the effect of social environments outlined in symbolic interactionism, it is recommended to interview the same participants at graduation and in five years time.