The Addiction Policy Forum together with Toni and Christopher Cornell have launched a nationwide campaign entitled “Stop the Stigma: Tackling the Stigma of Addiction through Education.” With support from the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, the national campaign will address the stigma and discrimination that people with a substance use disorder face through an awareness campaign, a podcast, and workshops and trainings for key stakeholders and the public. The campaign will also focus on data collection to measure the incidence and prevalence of stigma, as well as the effectiveness of interventions and resources. Stigma refers to a process through which individuals are discriminated against, devalued, rejected or excluded as a result of belonging to a socially discredited group. Addiction-related stigma prevents people who are struggling from reaching out for help and isolates families affected by the disease who fear being judged by their communities. The Problem
Substance use disorder (SUD) is one of the most stigmatized psychiatric conditions on earth. Despite the fact that over 20.3 million people in the United States struggle with substance use, nearly half of Americans don’t think that addiction is a disease. In 2018, 16 percent of individuals with a SUD did not seek treatment because they worried that it would have a negative impact on their employment; and approximately 15 percent felt it would impact their community’s view of them. This stigma leads to discrimination in health care, criminal justice, employment, child custody, and housing, especially in rural communities where treatment and recovery resources may be scarce.
Key Components The “Stop the Stigma” campaign seeks to directly support local communities in addressing stigma and improve the community’s response to addiction through these components:
Stop the Stigma Trainings- Free training sessions and workshops for policymakers, healthcare professionals, educators, employers, faith leaders, youth and the public.
Awareness Campaign - The national media campaign will help combat the stigma against those with a substance use disorder, raise public awareness around the need to improve responses and treatment for SUD, while highlighting innovations and community action.
Research and Data - The project will focus on data collection to measure the incidence and prevalence of stigma, as well as the effectiveness of interventions and resources.
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