• Chances Are Campaign to End Substance Use Disorder Stigma Launches in Mid-Michigan

    Barry Schmidt
    Bay County Prevention Network
    Chances Are Campaign to End Substance Use Disorder Stigma Launches in Mid-Michigan
    Bay City, Mich. – September 1, 2020 – Recognizing the growing substance use disorder throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region, eight prevention coalitions in eight mid-Michigan counties collaborated to create the Chances Are campaign. This substance use stigma awareness campaign seeks to end misconceptions and judgment about substance use disorders by changing the conversation around addictive behaviors.
    Stigma remains one of the biggest barriers for seeking substance use disorder treatment.
    Using stigma-reducing language to talk about addiction helps people with substance use disorders regain their self-esteem. It also helps the medical community treat people with substance use disorder without disapproval.
    “Changing the conversation surrounding addiction will encourage more people to seek treatment,” said Barry Schmidt, coordinator of the Bay County Prevention Network. “We need people living with substance use disorders to feel safe asking for help.”
    In Michigan, more people die annually from fatal overdoses than firearms and traffic accidents combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, the rate of drug-related deaths in Michigan exceeds the national average.
    “Substance use disorders affect people from all ages and backgrounds, including teenagers and young adults,” said Ruth Schwendinger, prevention specialist at Huron Behavioral Health. “You probably know someone with a substance use disorder and don’t realize it.”
    To participate in the campaign and learn more about stigma reduction, you can visit the PEER360 Recovery Alliance and download the Chances Are toolkit. PEER360 also will be sharing resources and information about stigma on their Facebook page throughout the campaign.
    About Chances Are:
    The Chances Are campaign is a multi-county collaboration brought to you by the Arenac Drug and Alcohol Containment Taskforce, the Bay County Prevention Network, the Huron County Recovery and Prevention Roundtable, the Isabella Substance Awareness Coalition, the Mecosta Osceola Substance Awareness Coalition, the Midland County Treatment and Recovery Coalition, the Saginaw County Prevention Coalition and the Tuscola Prevention and Recovery Coalition.
    Barry Schmidt
    Bay County Prevention Network

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