Purpose: Change mindsets of addiction through awareness and education to end stigma:
We live in a society were millions of Americans are depending on drugs or alcohol, yet only a small percent receive treatment, due to a fear of stigma.
People experience stigma from the general public, employers, hospitals, healthcare providers, churches, the educational system, the criminal justice system and even loved ones. Stigma is rarely based on facts but rather on assumptions, preconceptions and generalizations, yet it has the power to prevent those suffering from addiction from reaching out for treatment, resulting in increased economic, social and medical costs and even death.
The fact is, becoming dependent on drugs can happen to anyone! Addiction is a disease!
Through education and awareness, we can greatly reduce and even prevent the negative impact stigma has.
By changing the stigma, it is the hope of this committee to encourage people to reach out for help to get on the path of recovery and to gain public support for laws and insurance and employment policies that benefit people dependent on or recovering from drugs.