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Let's Talk addiction and medical discrimination

Doctor Crossing Arms
Sasun Bughdaryan
Stereotypes and stigma against people suffering with substance use disorders are ubiquitous, and the medical field is no different. Some doctors bias can act as a barrier to necessary care for those suffering from addiction, and allow small problems to have the time to develop into much more complicated, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

Let’s Talk New Mexico, 9/29 8a: Study after study has found people with substance use disorders suffer from some of the highest rates of stigma of any mental health disorder, and the discrimination that comes along with that stigma can lead to loss of employment, housing, child custody, benefits, and much more, including access to healthcare.

People dealing with addiction, even those in recovery, face more potential health issues, and require more care than traditional patients. Therefore, easy access to healthcare is vital for them to lead a productive, happy life. But some people with substance use disorders will avoid care altogether because of internalized stigma, and even when they do seek treatment, they contend with longer wait times, and some doctors will outright refuse to treat them, shuffling them to different departments, for example.

On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico we’ll discuss addiction and discrimination in medical settings. What’s the source of the problem, and are there any solutions? And we want to hear from you! Have you or a loved one faced discrimination for past or current substance use? Are you a medical professional who has seen this happen? Email us at LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show at (505) 277-5866, Thursday morning at 8.


Catherine, in treatment for Substance Use Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety

Dr. Leslie Hayes, Family and Addiction Medicine, El Centro Family Health, Española, New Mexico

Dr. Snehal Bhatt, Chief of Addiction Psychiatry, Addiction and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) and Truman Health Services,

Teresa Carr, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Clinical Director, CARE Campus


Dose of Reality – has contact information for several detox and treatment options, and links to resources like narcan and tips on how to use safely

ASAP – Outpatient detox center, counseling and mental health services, medical treatment, buprenorphine, methadone and narcan

Duke City Recovery Toolbox – outpatient services, counseling and mental health services, medical treatment, buprenorphine, methadone and narcan

Turning Point Recovery – Outpatient and inpatient detox, intensive outpatient rehab, inpatient rehab, acute inpatient psychiatric care,

Shadow Mountain Recovery – Dual diagnosis counseling, outpatient detox, intensive outpatient rehab, residential rehab and detox

Turquoise Lodge – Residential rehab and medical detox, intensive outpatient rehab

CARE campus – all services are FREE, inpatient medical detox, psychological crisis stabilization, inpatient rehabilitation, after-care residential community

SAMSHA national hotline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357) 24/7 national otline with information and resources on treatment and local services.

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Daniel Montaño, a part-time reporter, and occasional host of Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Let's Talk New Mexico since 2021, is a born and bred Burqueño who first started with KUNM about two decades ago, as a production assistant while he was in high school. During the intervening years, he studied journalism at UNM, lived abroad, fell in and out of love, conquered here and there, failed here and there, and developed a taste for advocating for human rights.
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