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Breaking the Stigma: Highlights from the 2022 NHS Addictions Provider Alliance’s Annual Conference

The 2022 NHS Addictions Provider Alliance’s annual conference brought together experts from the healthcare industry to address the issue of addiction and the stigma around it. Last year’s conference placed a strong emphasis on reducing the stigma associated with addiction, as it was recognised as a major barrier to seeking help and support.

Highlights of the NHS APA 2022 conference

One of the major highlights of the conference was the launch of this website, which aims to raise awareness about the devastating effects on individuals living with addiction. The website provides resources and information for those who are struggling with addiction, as well as their loved ones and healthcare professionals.

Key takeaways from the NHS APA 2022 conference

Here are some of the key takeaways from the conference on the topic of stigma:

  • The impact of stigma on addiction: Speakers emphasised the harmful effects of stigma on individuals struggling with addiction, including reduced access to care, discrimination and decreased quality of life. It was stressed that addressing stigma is crucial to improving outcomes for individuals with addiction.

  • Addressing internal stigma: The conference also explored the internal stigma that individuals with addiction may experience, leading to feelings of shame and a reluctance to seek help. It was emphasised that internalised stigma can be as damaging as external stigma, and that addressing it is important for recovery.

  • The role of the media: Discussions also centred around the role of the media in shaping public perception of addiction and perpetuating stigma. Speakers highlighted the importance of responsible reporting.

  • Changing attitudes through education: The conference concluded with a call for education and public awareness campaigns to shift attitudes towards addiction. Speakers told us about the importance of educating the public about addiction and reducing the harmful stereotypes that perpetuate stigma.


"Due to stigma, for some people, this is the first time they've talked about their loved one's alcohol or drug use to others. 'We just don't talk about it' is a common recurring theme we hear."


Summary of the NHS APA 2022 conference

The 2022 NHS Addictions Provider Alliance conference was a valuable opportunity for healthcare professionals to come together and address the issue of stigma surrounding addiction. Through presentations by keynote speakers Roy Lilley and Sue Baker, attendees were able to gain an understanding of the damaging effects of stigma and how it can be addressed through education, media representation and the reduction of harmful stereotypes.

The launch of this website and the upcoming Anti-Stigma Network provide promising tools in the fight against stigma, with a focus on raising awareness and providing resources to those who need them most. It is crucial that we continue to work towards breaking down the barriers that prevent individuals from seeking help and support in their journey towards recovery. The annual conference has set a positive trajectory for the future, and we hope to see continued progress and positive change in the years to come.

Watch the NHS APA 2022 conference on demand

For those who were unable to attend the conference, it is available to watch on demand. This is a great way to stay informed and to continue the conversation about addiction and stigma. By sharing this information and raising awareness, we can work together to reduce the harm caused by stigma and improve outcomes for individuals struggling with addiction.

Watch the conference here:



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