- Department of Public Health
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration launches new phase of #StateWithoutStigMA campaign to remove barriers to substance addiction treatment and recovery
Katheleen Conti, Assistant Director of Media Relations
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,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “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.”
“Throughout the pandemic, this administration has never lost sight that the loneliness, isolation, and economic toll of COVID-19 can and does have a disproportionate impact on people with substance use disorders and people who are working towards recovery,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Today’s announcement is an indication that we will not waver in the fight against addiction in our communities even during a worldwide pandemic.”
Building upon the state’s successful #StateWithoutStigMA 2015-2016 campaign, the new advertisements feature people from all walks of life, including health care 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.”
“We recognize that substance use disorder is a medical disease,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “As we continue to devote substantial resources towards treatment and recovery services and support, we have to continue our fight against the stigma that prevents people from accessing these lifesaving resources.”
The campaign, which is funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s State Opioid Response federal grant, has a $575,000 media buy that runs through the end of February 2021 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.