The online training focuses on the stigma people with problematic alcohol and drug use and their families face.

The training module was funded by Inverclyde’s Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (IADP) and has been developed by Inverclyde Resilience Network, which is a collaborative of third sector organisations and public sector partners and is hosted by CVS Inverclyde.

The experiences and perspectives of people with lived and living experience of this stigma is at the heart of the training and how it was developed. The training is grounded in research and data which evidences how stigma happens and the impact it has1.

Explore the training on our new website:

CVS Inverclyde Partnerships Facilitator, Vicki Cloney, said: “Stigma has such a detrimental impact on people and can result in social isolation, low self-esteem and poor mental health.

“We know from the evidence that stigma kills people2. So, we knew that we had to take action to help prevent that in Inverclyde. Working with partners from across sectors, and people with lived and living experience, has made all the difference.

“Much of the work was led by people with lived and living experience, which has resulted in a richer and more authentic resource. We’ve all learned so much and this learning has gone directly into the module.

“I want to thank all partners and participants involved in creating this impactful training. We went on this journey together, led by what themes and issues are important to those with lived and living experience, it was a privilege to co-create the training.

It’s another resource to help us challenge stigma and make Inverclyde an even more caring and compassionate place.”

Kenny Leinster, chair of Inverclyde ADP, said: “Many families and communities in Inverclyde are affected by alcohol and drugs. People should be able to get the help they need but sometimes feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help when it comes to alcohol or drug use. The sooner we can eliminate that the easier it will become for people to access the support they want and need without feeling embarrassed or ashamed.

“It is so important that we do all we can to get rid of stigma around alcohol and drugs  to ensure we are, as a society, inclusive, respectful, caring and compassionate for everyone.

“This training is open to everyone and is online meaning it is widely accessible and I encourage people to  take part and do your bit to challenge the stigma around alcohol and drugs.”

Throughout the training, we hear from people with lived and living experience of stigma related to alcohol and drugs. Some of the key quotes from the training include:

Impacts of Stigma

  • “Folk at work talked about me and the issues but didn’t ask about the situation, which made me self-conscious. I felt a social outcast.”
  • “I didn’t realise until I started learning a bit more about stigma how normal I thought it all was.”
  • “I started becoming very sceptical of everyone I was around. It was almost like I was pushing the ones closest to me away. It was a brutal life.”

How we can Challenge Stigma

  • “Being mindful of our language, listen to the people in recovery – what they want to be called and take that on board.”
  • “Everybody should be working on it together to get a result, because it benefits everyone in society if we look at it head on and help people, instead of slagging them off and being bad to them.”
  • “We need to educate people on being an addict. Having an addiction is a disease and people need to understand that my life is more than using drugs, there is more to me.”

You can help spread the word about the training with our Partner Toolkit:

Inverclyde ADP is a strategic group that brings together council/HSCP services with partners from the public and third sectors to deliver on local and national aims to tackle alcohol and drug dependency.

It is coordinated by the local authority but has an independent chair and board.

  1. For a list of the reports and data used in the training please see our reference list:
  2. “Stigma kills people” section 2.5 of the Scottish Drugs Deaths Taskforce final report: Changing-Lives-updated-1.pdf (

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