Lots of people ask me what they can do to help with the opioid and addiction crisis? They feel like it is too big of a problem for them to make a positive impact on. They see and share the pictures of needles on our city streets and say that not enough is being done … and then do nothing themselves. I totally feel their frustration. And I believe that education is the key to empowerment and change.
Information you may not have yet:
Big changes are happening at the city level to address this crisis – many of which are behind the scenes at this time; and some will forever be behind the scenes for confidentiality reasons. Big changes take time, money, resources, policy changes, government and service buy-in, innovation, and … many actions to occur.
But small changes ALSO lead to big changes. And YOU can be a part of those small changes. Today. Here are some suggestions:
- carry naloxone with you;
- participate in the #addictiongetwellcards initiative;
- have conversations with your family and friends about mental health and addiction so that stigma breaks down;
- volunteer at one of the many social service providers in our city;
- change conversations you may hear that contain incorrect stigma-filled dialogue to conversations of positivity and hope;
- tell someone who you know is battling with addiction that you care about them and are there for them; and
- write to your government leaders and share how important you feel legislation is that provides everyone with mental illness and addiction treatment. (For example: Bill 116)
Be PART of the change.