To reduce the number of people who develop substance use disorders (SUDs), to live in a world in which a person with substance use disorder can readily obtain effective treatment, and to examine the underlying causes and effects of the disease without prejudice or judgement.
To reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorders; to raise awareness within our society of the risks, triggers and realities of the disease; to advocate for policies that will affect change in our treatment of persons with substance use disorders; to create and implement programs that will have a profound impact on the epidemic.
Strategic Areas of Focus
- the public about SUDs, primarily heroin/opioid addiction.
- those affected by SUDs of their rights.
- loved ones of those affected by SUDs about the elements, causes and effects of the disease.
- medical and judicial professionals on how to treat persons with SUDs.
- medical professionals how to prescribe responsibly.
- for SUD treatment for incarcerated individuals.
- for studies of new prevention and treatment models.
- for policies that support fair treatment of persons with mental illness and SUD.
- for funding in support of studies, public education, prevention, awareness, harm reduction, treatment and recovery support.
- for wider use of naloxone.
- for creation and implementation of programs that match our core values.
- for harm reduction education and methods.
- to change our justice system to recognize the signs of SUD and to direct persons affected to treatment rather than incarceration.
- to bring current inequalities in treatment to light.
- to expose challenges in obtaining treatment.
- to reduce the stigma associated with SUDs.
- Mental illness and SUD are conditions that can cause or lead to death, and deserve the same level of medical response as other life threatening medical conditions.
- Opioid addiction and heroin addiction are different from other addiction diseases.
- All treatment modalities are equally acceptable if they help a person live without the heroin/opiates that damage health and quality of life.
- SUD often causes a person’s brain to ‘not want to get well’, and therefore it is not reasonable to expect a person to ‘want treatment badly enough.’
- SUD harms a person’s judgment and motivation which may impact his/her ability to follow through on prescribed methods of treatment.
- SUD is a treatable but potentially chronic condition that requires long term treatment and support.
- Although faith may be an important part of recovery for some individuals, religious or ‘higher power’ programs should not be a required form of treatment.
- A person should not be required to abstain from all substances to obtain treatment for heroin/opioid addiction.
- SUDs are not an indication of a moral failing and should not be criminalized.
- Persons with SUDs may require long term treatment, solutions, accommodations and require special attention by medical practitioners in addressing other medical issues.
- All medical professionals should be aware of treatment options so that they can appropriately advise their patients with SUD.
- Opiates hold the most direct link to heroin addiction.