MENDONOMA HEALTH ALLIANCE, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SAFE RX MENDOCINO OPIOID SAFETY COALITION, LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO ERADICATE STIGMAS ASSOCIATED WITH ADDICTION
Addiction is not a choice and it doesn’t define people.
Gualala, California, April 23, 2021 –Mendonoma Health Alliance, in collaboration with the Safe Rx Mendocino Opioid Safety Coalition, will launch a county-wide campaign to eradicate stigma associated with addiction, to begin on April 26, 2021.
Substance and Opioid Use Disorder have become one of the nation’s leading health disparities, impacting the social, emotional and physical well-being of individuals experiencing addiction. State-wide, overdose fatalities in California have risen by 15% in the last three years –faster than the national average. In 2019, Mendocino and Lake Counties outpaced every other county in California for the adjusted rate of overdose deaths and more than doubled the state average of 19.6 deaths per 100,000 residents (1). Isolated communities within Mendocino County have also felt the impact, with places like Point Arena experiencing the highest opioid-related overdose death rate per capita in the County and State in 2016, and the small unincorporated town of Gualala ranking number one in opioid-related overdose deaths per capita in the County and State in 2019 (2).
Mendonoma Health Alliance and the Safe Rx Mendocino Coalition recognize that some of the greatest barriers to people seeking treatment for their health condition are the systematic and social stigmas and biases that have been embedded in the culture and history of our communities, healthcare systems, and criminal justice systems. Together, with our partners county-wide, we are taking a stand against stigma so that individuals experiencing addiction feel supported and encouraged to reach out for help when they are ready to seek wellness.
In doing so, our agencies worked with Trim Tab Media to developed a media campaign to highlight the inspiring stories of local residents in long-term recovery who have become beacons of hope for people struggling with addiction. The campaign also works to highlight public health professionals, clinical providers and community health workers who work everyday to end stigma and create paths to recovery.
The campaign will launch on Monday, April 26, with video content on the websites of partner organizations and spread widely throughout social media. The campaign will be further promoted in print; on physical ad spaces throughout the county, such as MTA buses, billboards and banners; and on radio stations county-wide. For more information about the campaign or how to participate, contact Micheline White, Executive Director of Mendonoma Health Alliance. Beginning April 26, the campaign will be live on www.mendonomahealth.org/addiction and can be followed on social media by searching for #OvercomingAddiction.This campaign was made possible by funding provided bythe Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, a program of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration; the Coalition for Gang Awareness and Prevention’s Drug Free Communities Grant, administered by the Centers for Disease Control; and the Arlene & Michael Rosen Foundation.
We can overcome addiction, together.
1. Policy Brief, Trends in California, California health Policy Strategies, LLC. March 2021; https://secureservercdn.net/18.104.22.168/zb0.123.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Policy-Brief-Overdose-Trends-3.2020-1.pdf
2. California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, California Department of Public Health, https://skylab.cdph.ca.gov/ODdash/