Stop Stigma Now (SSN), consisting of active and retired professionals, and patients, is a think tank that delivers trusted insight on the benefits of medication treatment for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and educates the wider public on the stigma associated with MOUD.
Our agenda is simple: to help stop the stigma and prejudice directed at both the treatment and the patients.
Stop Stigma Now was established to change prevailing attitudes towards people suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD), which are preventing them from entering into and remaining in treatment.
While many treatments for OUD exist, (i.e., medication treatment, in-patient rehabilitation, therapeutic communities, outpatient counseling,) the use of medications (methadone, buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone) has repeatedly been documented to be the most effective. Compared to other treatments, patients maintained on medication are less likely to relapse, acquire infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C, and die from an opioid overdose. Unfortunately, these medications – especially the agonist medications (methadone and buprenorphine) – have been misunderstood and criticized as substituting one addiction for another. Agonist medications for OUD block the craving for opioids and suppress opioid withdrawal thus enabling the return to full functioning and a normal life.
Because OUD patients may have other problems such as a history of trauma, other addictive disorders, chronic pain and other psycho-social problems, medication treatment often includes counseling and other support services as needed or indicated.
All treatments should be respected. However, for persons with OUD, non-medication approaches to treatment that do not include MOUD, whether it be abstinence, or detox, or in or out-patient treatment, fall short of the effectiveness of MOUD, thus may put individuals in a dangerous situation which can result in relapse, overdose and death.
SSN exists to inform the general public, the court system, public officials, medical, nursing and counseling professions and the media about the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the success of medication treatment for opioid use disorder.
By eradicating stigma, we save and rebuild lives. It’s as simple as that!
SSN creates, designs, develops and distributes educational materials (books, pamphlets, posters, ads, cards and buttons, etc.) to help organizations effectively respond to concerns voiced by public officials, medical professionals, the media, the courts and the community at large.
All materials and services are free at SSN
SSN is a 501c3 not for profit organization, and has no paid staff.