In 2017, more than 72,000 people in the United States died from drug overdoses
— that's nearly 200 people every day.1 Around two-thirds of those overdose deaths were connected to misuse of opioids, whether prescription or illicit.2
This crisis can be counted in numbers
— and in stories. The way we talk about substance use disorders matters. The Recover Hope Campaign is tackling this issue from the ground up, first by working to change the narrative on substance use disorders. The shame and stigma surrounding substance use disorders leads people who are affected to feel isolated, hopeless, and unable to share their experiences with others who could support them towards recovery. In health care, the consequence of seeing substance use disorders as a choice rather than as a chronic disease that can be successfully treated is deadly, because patients do not receive the care they need. Changing the narrative from despair to hope and replacing judgment and shame with empathy, compassion, and love, will save lives and restore justice to the way we prevent and treat substance use disorders.
Hear from Campaign leaders about the importance of changing the narrative on substance use disorders in this powerful video:
Feeling inspired? Commit to the Change the Narrative Challenge today, and invite others to join you! During this month-long, friendly competition across our networks, we aim to get 20,000 people to commit to using person-first and recovery-focused language to change the narrative on substance use disorders by May 15. Learn more about the Change the Narrative Challenge here.
Interested in joining our community of change agents to continue this work?
The opioid and substance use disorder crisis has reached epidemic proportions. As the next generation of leaders in health care, it's up to us to change this outcome. It's time to Recover Hope.
The Recover Hope Campaign will raise awareness, promote prevention, and improve treatment of substance use disorder — the misuse of prescription or ilicit drugs of any kind — to support individuals, families, and communities around the world who are affected.
Join us today:
- Sign the Change the Narrative Pledge to stop stigma surrounding substance use disorders and commit to using person-first, recovery-focused language that promotes hope for recovery.
- Register to participate in the Change the Narrative Challenge — a month-long, friendly competition across our networks to get 20,000 people to commit to changing the narrative on substance use disorders.
- Access free online resources, trainings, and guidelines to learn more about how to prevent and treat substance use disorders on our Learn More page.
- Vital Statistics Rapid Release: Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. October 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm
- Lopez, G. 2017 was the worst year ever for drug overdose deaths in America. Vox.com. August 2018. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/8/16/17698204/opioid-epidemic-overdose-deaths-2017