“They see the addiction. They don’t see us.”
Stigma destroys Lives, Families and Futures
Stigmatisation drives people into isolation, danger and back into addiction. It labels families and neighbourhoods. It destroys people’s prospects and their chances to contribute to society.
Stop the Stigma is a new Citywide Campaign. We want to break down stigma, to shift attitudes and to move towards a situation where people who use drugs are treated with respect and dignity.
To achieve the goals of our new NDS (National Drugs Strategy) we have to first acknowledge and understand the damaging impact of stigma on people who use drugs.
5 Thing We Can Do
There are five simple things we can do now to help stop the stigma.
1. Change our language, starting by not using the word junkie.
2. Challenge stigma in the delivery of services that people who use drugs need.
3. Support strong and well-resourced Community Drug Programmes.
4. Understand more about the complexity of addiction, dependency and recovery.
5. End the criminalisation of people who use drugs – seeing addiction as a health issue, not a crime.