Pennsylvania partners to end the stigma of addiction


Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) recently became the first state partner and one of three founding partners to support a national strategy to end the stigma of addiction.

The state is partnering with Shatterproof, a nonprofit organization focused on ending the stigma of addiction and ensuring substance-use-disorder treatment is based on proven research. It also provides public education through online programs and advocates for changes to treatment quality assessment, federal and state policy, and payer reform.

The Movement to End Addiction Stigma, the organization’s strategy, addresses the four key areas of stigma and identifies nine commonly cited causes of the opioid epidemic.

“For decades stigma has cast a shadow over people battling substance use disorder and their families,” Jen Smith, DDAP secretary, said. “So much so, that people don’t enter treatment for their disease for fear of public perception. That must change. The Wolf Administration is thrilled to partner with Shatterproof to help bring the strategic plan to life and break critical barriers to help people suffering get the help they deserve.”

The state’s project focusing on the strategic plan will launch in September.

The Brian Mendell Memorial Foundation and The Hartford are the other founding partners.