In a groundbreaking announcement earlier this month, Mayor Jay Ruais declared that the City of Manchester has been selected as one of the hundred cities nationwide to participate in the Anti-Stigma Initiative led by the Addiction Policy Forum. This initiative aims to revolutionize our understanding of addiction, foster compassionate behaviors towards those with substance use disorders (SUD), and provide valuable insights into evidence-based treatment options, recognizing signs of addiction, and effective engagement strategies.
Research has unequivocally shown that individuals facing stigma due to a substance use disorder are more likely to persist in substance misuse, experience delayed access to treatment, and encounter higher rates of dropout. Mayor Ruais, a living testament to recovery, emphasized the significance of this initiative in dismantling barriers that hinder individuals from seeking treatment. He highlighted the community’s commitment to creating a supportive and compassionate environment for those affected by addiction.
Mayor Ruais underscored the direct correlation between combating the addiction epidemic and tackling the homelessness crisis. This initiative represents the Administration’s proactive approach to addressing one of the root causes of homelessness. Mayor Ruais, alongside Alderman Pat Long, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to lead this effort, showcasing their own success stories as examples of what individuals can achieve in recovery.
As part of the initiative, residents and community leaders in Manchester are urged to participate in a survey aimed at gauging addiction knowledge, confidence in responding to SUD, and levels of stigma in the community. Alderman Pat Long called upon constituents and city leaders to unite in being part of the solution. The survey results will provide valuable insights, helping position the city to offer educational resources and targeted interventions effectively.
Upon completion, pilot sites will field test the “Responding to Addiction Intervention” developed by the Addiction Policy Forum. This intervention is designed to enhance knowledge about substance use disorders and guide individuals and communities in responding effectively. Manchester’s commitment to breaking the stigma surrounding addiction marks the first of many steps toward fostering a healthier community.
Learn more about the campaign here.
Respond to the survey here.
View the Official Press Release Below.