Stories of Addiction is Here! (The Return of Stigma-Codon)

I am excited to note that the first posts in “Stories of Addiction” can now be found on Facebook (Stories of Addiction) and Instagram (@storiesoa)!

If you didn’t happen to catch my article from a few weeks ago, “Stories of Addiction” is a social media campaign created by the Praxis Lab “Drugs and Us” in order to combat the stigma of drug use, and humanize those who suffer from a substance abuse issue. By sharing the stories of individuals who are in recovery, those who have experienced addiction indirectly, as well as health care professionals who work in addiction, we hope to make an often uncomfortable subject more accessible. Despite the very obvious issues associated with the opioid crisis, American society is still often very hesitant to engage in open discussions regarding the issues surrounding drug use. Through “Stories of Addiction”, we hope to stimulate conversations regarding this prevalent issue, as well as humanize those who suffer from an addiction. Though many would like to ignore it, addiction is everywhere, and we want these sometimes marginalized voices to be heard.

Most of us would like to live in a kinder and more tolerant society, help us reduce stigma by checking out our posts (and getting your friends and family to check them out as well), the first of which were just published on Monday March 27. As someone who has been involved in the interview process, I cannot tell you how impactful these stories truly are; I am so excited to have the opportunity to share these individual’s stories with the public. I mentioned this in my previous article, but if you feel you have a story you would like to share, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Beyond our Stories project, “Drugs and Us” is involved in many other projects around Salt Lake to help reduce overdose death rates in Utah. One of our largest projects, scheduled for April 4 at the U of U hospital, will provide training for citizens who wish to become more educated about naloxone (the opioid rescue drug). The Naloxone End User Training and the “Train the Trainers” Training includes two separate seminars that will prepare individuals to deal with potential overdose situations. The first hour long seminar, the Naloxone End User Training, will teach individuals how to recognize a potential opioid overdose, how to respond in a situation involving an overdose, as well as how to safely administer naloxone. The second and longer session of the event will teach individuals how to relay this information to others, which, in turn, will allow you to distribute naloxone received from the organization Utah Naloxone to other individuals and organizations that have need of it. The information in this seminar is greatly important, though you may not think you know an individual who uses opioids, statistics suggest otherwise; addiction is often found in familiar faces from family, to friends, to neighbors. The information learned during this event has the potential to save lives.

If you feel passionately about these issues, please consider attending our event. RSVPs are required and the Google form can be found by following the link below (the event is free, and food will be provided). I know we can make a difference, it’s time to end the stigma and save lives!