On Thursday, November 19 the Addiction Policy Forum hosted a webinar on stigma and addiction. The webinar’s title was “Substance Use Disorders and Stigma: Research, Racial Disparities and Promising Approaches”, and was held to reduce stigma around addiction and color–to ensure access to quality treatment and family support for all.
The line-up of speakers was amazing:
- Nora Volkow, MD, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and well-known addiction expert.
- Camille Schrier, Miss America 2020 who’s 12-month initiative is around drug safety and misuse prevention.
- Valerie Earnshaw, PhD who researches how stigma leads to inequities in health outcomes.
- Beverly Watts Davis, an advocate for reducing stigma and former winner of the National Volunteer of the Year Award
- Vicky Cornell, widow of rock musician Chris Cornell who died of an opioid overdose after several years in remission.
- Jessica Hulsey, Founder and CEO of Addiction Policy Forum who understands that addiction is a disease because of her lived experience with her parents–both of whom were addicted to opioids.
Several solutions or tools to reduce stigma were discussed, but perhaps the simplest was social contact and storytelling to increase empathy and knowledge. Similar to Addiction Policy Forum’s initiative, Shatterproof has an End the Stigma campaign underway. Please feel free to review some slides from the webinar here.