Perceptions of Substance Abuse on College Campuses: Proximity to the Problem, Stigma, and Health Promotion

Michael Mackert, Amanda Mabry, Katharine Hubbard, Ivana Grahovac, Lori Holleran Steiker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For college students recovering from substance addiction, the path to sobriety is fraught with challenges. Many campuses offer recovery support resources, but students indicate stigma associated with recovery prevents them from using these services. This problem could be ameliorated through communication campaigns addressing misperceptions of substance abuse and recovery. The purpose of this study was to understand how students' perceptions of addiction and recovery vary based on their experience and background. A quantitative survey was employed to examine stigma beliefs among 2 subpopulations of college students at a large Southwestern university. Findings indicate students with exposure to issues surrounding substance abuse and recovery held fewer stigmatized beliefs, emphasizing the importance of identifying and researching a target audience before developing a health promotion campaign.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-285
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • college students
  • health communication
  • stigma
  • substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceptions of Substance Abuse on College Campuses: Proximity to the Problem, Stigma, and Health Promotion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this