Message from the Secretary

A letter from Secretary Marylou Sudders regarding "StateWithoutStigMA."

Dear Friend:

Three to four people die each day in Massachusetts as a result of the opioid crisis. This epidemic is affecting individuals, families and communities across the Commonwealth.

We need your help. It will take all of us to bend the trend of opioid deaths.

A primary reason why individuals do not seek treatment is the stigma associated with addictions. Stigma perpetuates negative attitudes and images around this disease – it is communicated in the way we behave or act towards or talk about someone. For the person struggling with addiction, it can make them feel worthless. When we define someone with words such as “addict” and “junkie,” it dehumanizes the person and creates a powerful obstacle to seek treatment or to ask for help.

Join us in taking the pledge to support those with addictions and to help them get the treatment they need. Stigma hurts. Treatment works and recovery is possible.

Together, Massachusetts will be a “#StateWithoutStigMA.”

Marylou Sudders
Secretary, Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Chair, Governor’s Opioid Addiction Working Group