Educating the public on the causes and nature of the disease of addiction, its associated risks and costs, erasing stigma, and how to reverse the opioid epidemic.
There is a lack of knowledge about substance use disorder, or addiction. Many people don't understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. Some think that those who use drugs lack willpower and they could simply stop their drug use at any time. In reality, it’s a complex disease, and “quitting” requires more than good intentions or just saying “no.”
One of S.A.F.E.’s goals is to eliminate the stigma associated with opioid addiction – which, in turn, becomes a barrier to those who may want to seek treatment. Stigma also encourages families and friends to keep secrets.
To combat stigma, it’s important to understand how the disease of addiction works, and its impact on our families, our neighborhoods, our communities and society. Medical research shows that addiction is a chronic brain disease requiring medical intervention, not judgment.
We believe a multi-pronged approach will educate individuals and communities. The more sources of information available to the public on this national emergency, the more likely that our society will begin to come to grips with it.
Facts and Figures