The Community Drug Strategy in Sudbury has launched a new video series called ‘Those People Are Us.’
It aims to address the stigma and language associated with substance use and addiction.
“As we know, stigma is still very much alive in our community and has a great impact on people. Stigma is one of the biggest barriers for people to go out and seek support, either if that’s health services or treatment services, or even just talking about it with friends and family,” said Josee Joliat, public health nurse at Public Health Sudbury & Districts.
Health officials hope the series of three videos will make people think twice about passing judgement on people living and struggling with substance addiction.
Shana Calixte is the Co-Chair of the Steering Committee on the Community Drug Strategy.
“These series of videos showcase that you can make an assumption on who you think is using substances by saying oh you know those people, having that negative stigmatizing language, then realizing that that person could be somebody that you work with, go to a gym class with or could be somebody on a team with you,” said Calixte.
The video series is a stark reminder that everyone is vulnerable and deserving of support.
“Classifying people as addicts, for instance, we really want to emphasize person first language, people who use substances, people who inject drugs because we are talking about people,” adds Calixte.
Officials say addressing stigma associated with substance addiction leads toward a more inclusive health and support systems where people feel more comfortable to seek help.