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Some studies measure public stigma by assessing stigma perceived by those who use drugs, while others investigate attitudes towards them among the general public. This study aimed to compare perceived and public stigma, and factors related to these two variables.
Public stigma was significantly higher than perceived stigma. The findings indicated that gender, knowledge of drugs, family relationships with people who use drugs, attributions of drug use and social distance were significantly related to levels of public stigma. Among those who use drugs, perceived stigma was significantly correlated with age, marital status, duration of drug abstinence and social distance.
Cross-sectional survey in China of two samples: males who used drugs (N = 257) and the general public (N = 376).