Nearly six in ten (59%) people in Ireland have direct experience of addiction - whether that's themselves, a family member or a close friend.
New research by Merchants Quay Ireland found there is widespread support for addiction treatment, but the organisation is also warning of the 'stigmatising attitudes' people who have overcome addiction face.
The survey found that 42% of respondents disagreed with the statement that “someone in recovery from addiction is as trustworthy as anyone else” - with only 22% agreeing.
Meanwhile, 53% of respondents disagreed with the statement “I have sympathy for people who inject drugs in public".
Carol Casey, head of communications at Merchant’s Quay Ireland, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about the findings.
She said: "I think a lot of the focus on addiction is often through the lens of criminality, and because of that we're just not hearing the stories of people in addiction.
"I believe if people do hear the stories of people who are having to cope with addiction, people will have huge empathy and compassion for them.
"For us, we feel the answer is we need to talk about addiction more - I think this society has shown we are able to change our attitude and be able to evolve."
Merchants Quay is now launching a new exhibition called 'The Lived Experience of Addiction', with photographs and stories 'giving a voice' to those directly affected by addiction.