Stigmatization of people with alcohol and drug addiction among Turkish undergraduate students

Nursel Topkaya, Ertuğrul Şahin, Anna K Krettmann, Cecilia A Essau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stigmatization of people with substance use problems have been reported to be high among young adults in Western countries. It is not clear if this finding could be replicated among emerging adults in non-Western countries. Thus, the aim of this study was to firstly explore stigmatizing attitudes of undergraduate students in Turkey towards people with alcohol, marijuana and heroin addiction, and then test a mediation model to explain stigmatizing attitudes among college students. A total of 513 undergraduate students participated in the study. They completed a set of questionnaires to measure perceived stigma towards substance use, perceived danger and feeling fearful towards people with substance addiction (i.e., alcohol, heroin, marijuana), and a willingness to engage in relationships with people who are addicted to these three substances. Females, compared to males, reported being more fearful of people who are addicted to alcohol, marijuana and heroin. Younger compared to older participants perceived people who are addicted to these substances as more dangerous. Younger participants also had higher social distance towards people who are addicted to alcohol and marijuana than older participants. Perceived dangerousness and fearfulness partially mediated the relationship between perceived stigma and social distance in alcohol, marijuana and heroin. Research findings may help determine potential correlates of stigmatizing attitudes as well as developing models to explain stigmatizing attitudes among Turkish college students. [Abstract copyright: © 2021 The Authors.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100386
JournalAddictive Behaviors Reports
Early online date8 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Oct 2021


  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Turkish undergraduate students
  • Alcohol
  • Stigma
  • Substance use

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