The virtual event will take on one of the most corrosive issues in the treatment field
By the editors of TreatmentMagazine.com
The 2022 Stigma of Addiction Summit, presented by the addiction nonprofit Shatterproof in partnership with Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, is scheduled to take place virtually on June 8. Given the lingering and perplexing issues related to addiction stigma, the summit is one of the most important treatment-oriented events on the calendar.
Rahul Gupta, MD, MPH, MBA, FACP, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, will deliver the keynote address. The programming also will feature sessions on the stigma associated with harm reduction, the intersectionality of drug policy and racial justice, substance use treatment and more. Additionally, this year’s Stigma of Addiction Summit will include an “Innovation Session” highlighting emerging anti-stigma research from around the U.S.
Why the Stigma Summit Is So Important
It’s difficult to fathom that stigma is still a problem in the year 2022. In an interview this past March with TreatmentMagazine.com and the National Association of Treatment Providers (NAATP) as part of the Recovery Reimagined series, Matt Vogl, MPH, spoke of stigma’s corrosive effects. And he issued a challenge to both the treatment community and the population at large:
“People haven’t wanted to come forward, and the stigma is wrapped up in that. People don’t want to out themselves, and I get all that.”—Matt Vogl, National Mental Health Innovation Center
“Things stay the same because people make it easy for them to stay the same,” said Vogl, founder and executive director of the National Mental Health Innovation Center (NMHIC) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “Whether it’s voting rights or changes in policies, throughout the history of our country, when there’s change that needs to be made, it’s when people rise up. Look at Black Lives Matter. We need some people to be rebellious and to demand change, to make phone calls, to write letters and emails and to say that to the people who hold the purse strings. ‘Enough—we’re not going to take this anymore.’ In our world of mental health, for too long we’ve made ourselves really easy to ignore. People haven’t wanted to come forward, and the stigma is wrapped up in that. People don’t want to out themselves, and I get all that. We have to raise hell.”
Consider the 2022 Stigma of Addiction Summit to be doing just that: raising some much-needed hell.