At PreventEd, we work to prevent the harms of alcohol and other drug use through intervention, education, and advocacy. Our motto is “Spread solutions, not stigma.” Stigma can create fear or anger towards others and make it more difficult to have honest conversations about substance use. Instead of spreading stigmas, PreventEd encourages sharing solutions.
Here are ways you can bring solutions, not stigma, to your community:
Know the Facts & Get Educated
Knowing the facts by educating yourself and others is a great way to spread solutions in your community. PreventEd provides helpful education and resources to make this easier through youth and adult programs that come to your school, office, and community centers.
For professional development, we provide ethics training and other education opportunities to promote safe spaces in medical and other professional settings for minority groups like the LGBTQIA+ community as well as those recovering from substance use disorders (SUDs).
Share Real Life Experiences & Volunteer
No matter the amount of experience you have, you can help your community. Donating to local SUD treatment centers and advocacy groups is an effective solution regardless of your background. You can even share your real-life experiences through volunteer or professional work like those pursuing a peer specialist certification.
Be Kind to Yourself
Self-stigma can present itself in those who face challenges like substance use disorder. It can profoundly change how a person feels about themselves, even when in treatment. For teenagers or those in the LGBTQIA+ community that may be more likely to struggle with mental health issues and self-stigma, turning to substances like alcohol and other drugs is a common coping mechanism.
If you are struggling with self-stigma, remember that there are people who want to help you, be it a close friend or family member. Examining the root of your feelings and responding thoughtfully can help you overcome self-stigma and be more kind to yourself.
Be Conscious of Language
The word “abuse” is a loaded word that perpetuates the stigma surrounding people struggling with a substance use disorder. This is especially prevalent in minority communities that face frequent discrimination, like unequal access to healthcare, jobs, and education. Speaking out against images and language that stereotype those with mental health and substance use disorders can reduce stigmas in your community.
Contact State and Local Officials
Another way you can help spread solutions is to contact your state and local officials to advocate for positive change. You can find your representatives through search engines like Google or government sites like House.gov.
PreventEd Can Help
PreventEd is here for all of our community members. We work hard to advocate for access to safe healthcare and counseling for everyone, despite their background.
As leaders in preventing the harms of alcohol and drug use through education, intervention, and advocacy, we have the resources available to find safe and reliable SUD treatment for those who need it, regardless of the way you identify. We can also provide resources for those who are uninsured or underinsured.