Fostering Awareness, Inclusivity, and Self-Efficacy: Facing Social and Internalized Recovery Stigma


Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Katharine Hill


A dynamic interplay takes place between social, public, and internalized addiction and recovery stigma. This systematic literature review sought to further understand the pervasive relationship between social stigma and internalized stigma around addiction, as well as clinical implications for alleviating the effects of shame and empowering those in recovery. A total of 14 studies were included in the final sample. The results of this review depict three main themes which explore the nature of social and internalized stigma as well as implications for responding to the effects of internalized stigma: Individual Identity Transformation, Group Belonging and Social Support, and Public Education and Awareness. Each theme identified within this review further delves into the interconnected nature of social and internalized stigma while also identifying pathways for fostering awareness, inclusivity, and self-efficacy. Furthermore, the results of this review indicate the need for an integrative and collaborative approach to understanding and addressing addiction and recovery stigma on a micro, mezzo, and macro level. This research proposes the effects of internalized stigma can be alleviated by raising awareness, building belonging and inclusivity, and fostering self-efficacy.


recovery, addiction, substance abuse disorders, social stigma, internal stigma

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.