THE STIGMA that has long shrouded “heroin” and “addiction” has led our nation to be taken off guard in the face of our exploding opioid epidemic. The stereotype of the heroin addict is grossly misunderstood. In fact, the only stereotype is YOUTH. Young, vibrant, talented people fall prey to this epidemic and lose their lives everyday. The stigma keeps many people from talking about how it has affected them or a loved one and even, through shame, don’t seek the help that could save a life.
AWARENESS that the heroin epidemic is in everyone’s backyard is essential for it to be treated as the health crisis it is. Unfortunately, so many are not aware that each and every person has a role in this epidemic even if it is simply to know how to recognize the signs that someone else is in need of help. Educating communities about what resources they have, and should advocate for, in order to save the lives of those afflicted is one Truth Pharm’s paramount efforts.
TREATMENT: Until SUD is treated as the medical/health condition that it is, getting adequate treatment will remain challenging for most people seeking help. The relapse rate for heroin addiction is extremely high and treatment duration should be no less than 60 days. The oftentimes prohibitive cost along with long waitlists keep many lives in the balance. Truth Pharm works with treatment centers and the public to help find and fund affordable placement for those seeking treatment. Truth Pharm continues its daily effort for policy change in hopes to see the day that any and everyone seeking treatment will be treated.
HARM REDUCTION: Truth Pharm’s principles and core values are evidence-based policies and we advocate and promote all “harm reduction” principles. No one EVER plans on becoming addicted to heroin, and no one wants to be. Many people die before succeeding in recovery. Dead people cannot recover. Harm Reduction principles are those that keep people alive no matter where they are in their addiction. For the active user, this would include clean needle programs, narcan training and kits, educating on “safest use” practices, safe injection sites… For those in recovery, the principles include any and all forms of medication or substances that keep the user from using heroin/opioids. Please read more about harm reduction here.
MEDIA REPORTS: Truth Pharm believes that the media can play a critical role in helping to raise awareness of, reduce the stigma of, and influence policy change around SUD and the heroin epidemic. We believe in collaboration with the media to advocate for all of our principles. We do not believe that the nationwide publication of stories and photographs of unconscious people are useful and, in addition, rob the victims of their dignity.