Stop Stigma Now was established to change stigma, negative attitudes and misunderstanding about the most effective treatments available for most people suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD). This misunderstanding, and the resulting discrimination against affected individuals, is perhaps the greatest barrier preventing progress in addressing the opioid crisis.
While many treatments for OUD exist, maintenance methadone, buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone have been conclusively demonstrated as the most effective, and necessary in most cases. Compared to alternatives such as isolated in-patient and out-patient psychosocial treatments (without OUD medication), patients maintained on methadone or buprenorphine are much less likely to relapse, to acquire infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C, to die from an opioid overdose, and are much more likely to return to full functioning and a normal life. Unfortunately, these medications – especially the agonist medications methadone and buprenorphine – have been misunderstood as “substituting one addiction for another.”
Psychosocial counseling is an important treatment which should be offered, strongly encouraged, and provided whenever possible to those in need of treatment. However, isolated psychosocial treatment, i.e., without medication for OUD, even in the setting of inpatient rehabilitation, should not be considered as effective treatment for the great majority of those with moderate to severe OUD. Such treatments, when used alone, are often ultimately ineffective and often result in relapse, overdose or death.
SSN informs and works with people affected by OUD and their families, treatment and recovery professionals, the legal system, public officials, and the media about the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the importance of encouraging maintenance treatment with methadone, buprenorphine or extended-release naltrexone for the great majority of people with moderate to severe OUD.
SSN develops and disseminates, print and electronic materials, including presentations and videos, to combat the widespread use of ineffective treatment for OUD in order to save countless lives and ultimately overcome the terrible scourge of opioid addiction.
All materials and services are free at SSN.
SSN is a 501c3 not for profit organization, and has no paid staff.