BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has launched a new phase of the #StateWithoutStigMA public-information campaign aimed at reducing the stigma of substance addiction that prevents people with substance-use disorders from seeking treatment. The campaign launches at a time when the state is experiencing a slight rise in overdose deaths as it continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we continue to fight COVID-19, we remain aware of the impact the pandemic has had on the recovery community and residents struggling with addiction,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “Building on the Commonwealth’s previous efforts to reduce the stigma around addiction, we are proud to launch the next phase of #StateWithoutStigMA to encourage people to seek the treatment they need and deserve, especially in these uniquely challenging times.”
Building upon the state’s successful #StateWithoutStigMA 2015-16 campaign, the new advertisements feature people from all walks of life, including healthcare providers, talking about how and why they support a #StateWithoutStigMA.
“Now more than ever, we must double up our efforts to reduce the stigma of addiction,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “We must remove any barriers that keep people with substance-use disorders from seeking treatment and recovery, especially as COVID-19 continues to impact families and communities across Massachusetts.”
The campaign, which is funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s State Opioid Response federal grant, includes a $575,000 media buy that runs through the end of February and will be featured on TV, billboards, digital media, social media, and on display ads on public hand-sanitizer stations across the state. Campaign assets also include community-outreach collateral items, such as posters and window clings, to help spread the word.
“We recognize that substance-use disorder is a medical disease,” said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel. “As we continue to devote substantial resources toward treatment and recovery services and support, we have to continue our fight against the stigma that prevents people from accessing these life-saving resources.”