Opioid overdose … killed more Americans in one year than the entire Vietnam War.

STOP STIGMA NOW (SSN) is a group of experts in the field of addiction treatment determined to eliminate the stigma against medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction which negatively impacts anyone taking methadone and other medications used to treat opioid addiction.

Our mission is to inform the general public, the court systems, medical, nursing and counseling professions, public officials, and the media about the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the success of long term medication treatment for opioid addiction.

Today millions of people in this country are suffering from an addiction to opioids. We are experiencing a national epidemic of opioid overdose deaths in the tens of thousands yearly … driving up the overall death rates among Americans in the prime of their lives in virtually every racial and ethnic group in almost every state in the nation … and increasing exponentially, with no end in sight.

We must eliminate the stigma which undermines the efficacy of medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction.

Opioid addiction is a disease … treatable with medication.

Opioids are medicines often used to relieve pain. They usually are safe when used correctly, but some people are genetically predisposed to becoming addicted to them.  

Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and your behavior.  At first, you have control over your choice to start using drugs. Over time, chemical changes in your brain cause you to experience powerful uncontrollable physical hunger or craving for the drug. Opioid addiction is a medical condition referred to as a “brain disease” because it alters the circuits of the brain.

The most significant sign of opioid addiction is the inability to stop using a drug.  

Opioid addiction becomes a life threatening problem when the use of any opioid becomes harmful and the person is aware of the harm but is unable to stop. Other signs of addiction include increased drug tolerance and drug dependence. When your body gets used to a drug, you need to take more of it to get the same effect. If you stop using an opioid for a period of time, your tolerance will begin to fade. Resuming the opioid at the same dose could be dangerous, resulting in an overdose.

  • Developing tolerance – requiring increasing amounts of opioids to achieve the same effect
  • Being sick in withdrawal when reducing a dose or stopping opioids
  • Relapse and overdose is always possible when treatment stops
  • There is no “cure” for opioid addiction disease

Treatment of opioid addiction disease

  • The safest choice is a lifetime of treatment
  • The most effective treatment includes both medication and counseling
  • Treatment improves health and reduces the threat of dying
  • Treatment allows a person to regain self respect
  • Effective treatment benefits the community and reduces crime
  • The goal of treatment is a fulfilled life

Learn more about STOP STIGMA NOW.


Stop Stigma Now is an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Click here to send us an email.

Joycelyn Woods


I still had very low self-esteem . . . because of my perception all my life that I was different and something was wrong. It took another event for me to see myself as doing something with my life…