“Being treated with genuine compassion and care got me into recovery.” - Blair H., Denver, CO

As medical professionals, you are familiar with stories like Blair’s, where care from a compassionate doctor changed the course of someone’s life. Colorado’s opioid anti-stigma campaign, Lift The Label, has been telling Coloradans’ stories of recovery for almost two years now. Coloradans are living lives in recovery because you and others were there for them when they needed it the most. Thank you.

Unfortunately, stigma continues to be a huge and growing barrier in Colorado for people who need substance use services. According to the 2019 Colorado Health Access Survey, 78,513 Coloradans cited stigma as a reason they did not get needed substance use care. That number equates to 85.5 percent of those who needed substance use services but did not receive them, a number that has grown from 59 percent in 2017.

We can all do more – to connect people with services, to ensure they are treated with respect and compassion, and to share stories to reduce stigma and judgment. Although Lift The Label has had many brave Coloradans step up to share their personal stories about recovery from addiction, we do not have any medical professionals who have shared. Can you help?

The Lift The Label campaign is asking medical professionals to share their stories about recovery from opioid addiction. We know that one way to address stigma is to hear from people who look and sound like you. By sharing your story with other doctors, you will help reinforce the idea that people want to recover and do recover, a message that the medical community, law enforcement, friends and family members need to hear. In addition, your story will be used to reach people struggling with addiction who may be wondering how they will be treated if they ask their doctor for help.

Please share your story if any of the following fit you.

  • Have you struggled with addiction and stigma yourself and are now in recovery?
  • Have you supported someone close to you, like a friend or family member, who struggled with addiction?
  • Have you helped someone find treatment for their addiction?
  • Have you prescribed someone medication-assisted treatment to help recover from opioid addiction?

Reach out to elizabeth.owens@state.co.us or 303-866-7505 to help someone else by sharing your story for the Lift The Label campaign. You will work with a professional writer to tell your story and you must be willing to have your face and name associated with the story.

We know that you’re already giving a tremendous amount of time, care and thought to your patients. We hope that participating in Lift The Label might be another way to ensure that patients are treated to the best of your ability. Thank you again for the lives you have saved and for the care you provide every day.

Categories: Communications, Colorado Medicine, ASAP