Why You Shouldn’t Use the Word “Addict”

“For a long time, we’ve known that language plays a huge role in how we think about people and how people think about themselves. Words have to change so attitudes change.”

Michael Botticelli, former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in The Boston Globe

Addiction is a disease.

It’s important that we use language that frames it as a health issue and shows respect to people with an addiction and to their families who are impacted. Just like we would with any other disease, like diabetes or asthma.

A person shouldn’t be defined or labeled by his or her disease or illness, it is something they have. For example: Instead of calling someone a “diabetic,” it’s preferable to use person-first language and say “someone with diabetes.” The same goes with the word “addict.”

We have a choice when we communicate. We can use words that perpetuate the negative stigma around substance use – words that label people with an addiction in a negative, shameful and judgmental way. Or we can use words that are compassionate, supportive and respectful – words that helps others understand substance use disorder as the health issue that it is.

Why You Shouldn’t Use the Word “Addict”

 

Morristown and Butler Join the Countywide Stigma-Free Initiative

21 TOWNS NOW ENROLLED IN COUNTYWIDE EFFORT TO END STIGMA RELATED TO MENTAL ILLNESS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE DISORDERS

The Butler Borough Council and the Morristown Town Council both have passed resolutions to declare their towns Stigma-Free, making them the 20th and 21st towns to join the Morris County “Stigma Free’’ initiative that aims to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

Butler Borough official seal

Butler and Morristown join recently announced participants Chatham Borough, Mendham Borough, Mountain Lakes, Roxbury, and Washington Township as Stigma Free communities in Morris County.

Other participants are the town of Boonton, Boonton Township, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Hanover, Jefferson, Long Hill, Madison, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Parsippany, Rockaway Borough and Rockaway TownshipTown of Morristown official seal

In addition, the Montville Public Schools recently became the first K-12 District in Morris County to enroll in the initiative.

“We are thrilled to be part of this grass roots movement to help the residents of our town and county seek the programs and services they need to recover from mental illness and addiction,’’ said Butler Mayor Bob Alviene. “We want to help save lives by encouraging people with addictions to come forward, to seek treatment without worrying about any stigma, and to embrace their efforts and encourage their recovery.’’

“By becoming a Stigma-Free community, the Town of Morristown will continue to move forward in effort to raise awareness of local resources that can be provided to those with mental health issues and substance abuse,” stated Morristown Mayor Timothy Dougherty. “I hope that this designation will help those who are affected seek the assistance they need without fear of judgment.”Morris County Stigma Free logo

We are really heartened by the support shown for this Stigma-Free initiative by towns like Butler and Morristown, and by so many health providers and nonprofit agencies, and our county residents,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana.

“This initiative is an important step in helping affected people seek recovery, without fear of stigma or reprisal.’’

The Morris County Board of Freeholders in 2016 passed a resolution designating Morris County as a Stigma-Free County and asked the county’s 39 towns to consider enrolling.

Morris County has created a Stigma Free website www.morriscountystigmafree.org to call attention to the initiative, provide information and resources, and a calendar of upcoming events related to mental illness and substance abuse. A Stigma Free Toolkit also is available for towns and communities. Also, check the Stigma Free news and calendar site at https://morriscountystigmafree.org/news/

Morris County’s goal in creating a Stigma Free initiative is to disseminate information and foster a stigma-free environment where people are free from judgment and can get the help they need to recover.

Here are some other voices supporting the initiative:

Mendham Mayor Neil Henry: “We’ve all been affected by mental illness in some way and becoming Stigma-Free is the first step in fighting this disease as a community. Only by removing the perception of shame or embarrassment will we erase those feelings that prevent our neighbors, friends and family members from seeking help.

Washington Township Police Chief Jeff Almer: “With this program, we can continue to teach people about mental illness and substance abuse disorders, and erase the stigma attached to them. “This will make residents, as well as the police officers, more aware of the illnesses and work to create an environment where we can assist with wellness and recovery by providing needed support and resources.’’

Roxbury Mayor Mark Crowley: “The Stigma Free Initiative is so important because it stresses that we become socially responsible for positive efforts to end discrimination of mental health and substance abuse disorders.’’

Dover Mayor James P. Dodd: “To truly change the way society views individuals with substance abuse and mental illness disorders we must change our language, attitude and be more compassionate. “Regardless of the spectrum, we all know or have people in our lives who face these challenges. I’m proud to join the growing number of municipalities that pledge to work toward a more understanding and accepting community for all.”Stigma Free Ribbon

As part of the countywide initiative, residents are urged to take the Stigma Free Pledge:

  • As a supporter to those who have a mental illness or substance use disorder, I understand the importance of recognizing the high prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • I also know that when recognition is coupled with reeducation and understanding, health-seeking action can be taken. These actions lead to recovery, which is possible for everyone.
  • The Three R’s (recognize, reeducate and reduce) depend on each other to effectively Stamp Out Stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • This is what I, as an individual, charge myself to do—to fully Stamp Out Stigma and clear the path to health-seeking behavior. It begins with me.

For more information on the disease of mental illness, visit www.nami.org and for more information on NAMI’s national Stigma Free effort, visit: https://www.nami.org/stigmafree

Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace which results from the judgment by others. When an individual is labeled by their illness they experience judgment and prejudice. Stigma brings experiences and feelings of shame, embarrassment, distress, hopelessness and reluctance to seek or accept help.

Remembering Carrie Fisher

“My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases.” While the loss of her mother must have been heartbreaking, Lourd is determined to raise awareness of mental health issues, continuing the work Fisher so boldly did throughout her life.

Lourd’s statement continued, “She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases. I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs.”

Read the rest of this article at http://www.elle.com/culture/celebrities/news/a46058/billie-lourds-beautiful-tribute-to-carrie-fisher/.

 

Community Song from “Many Faces of Recovery: Celebrating You”

This community song was written based on a set of surveys in honor of The Many Faces of Recovery: Celebrate You.

Thank you Lorraine Ferro and Anna Toby Rabinowitz for writing an amazing song and performing at the forum; thank you to Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Mental Health Addictions Servises Advisory Board for giving us the opportunity to participate in this years annual forum for Consumers and Families.

Surviving Mental Illness

This is a guest post by Valerie Fox of Morristown.

It has been years since my diagnosis of schizophrenia. At the time I was 21 years old.  Today I am considered old – not middle-aged but old.

Looking back over the years, mental illness in the beginning had played havoc with my life. In the middle of my mental illness journey, schizophrenia was again responsible for destroying the life I had built after the diagnosis. Eventually I healed, but I had deep scars, the signature of schizophrenia.

After healing yet again, I tried to go on with my “new” life. There were times it was very challenging, other times very lonely, but for want of any other way out, I fought schizophrenia. The harder I did not let it rule me, the better I started feeling. Stigma of course was rampant, but it didn’t matter because I had found my calling. While scarred, I did carve a good spot for myself in life.

Today it is approximately 55 years since the onset of schizophrenia in my life. It still occasionally challenges me, but I have learned and learned well it is definitely better to adhere to my treatment than to get caught up in the web of thinking I seem so well, therefore I am well. I have learned the hard way through homelessness that thoughts like that are very dangerous for me to entertain at all so I don’t.

So today after many, many years of living with this illness, I can comfortably say I have survived schizophrenia. I don’t know other persons’ journeys, whether they have been easier than mine or harder, but I hope they too are in a comfortable place in their lives.

Valerie Fox
(a person in recovery) 

Chatham Borough Joins Morris County “Stigma-Free’’ Initiative

ENROLLED IN EFFORT TO END STIGMA RELATED TO MENTAL ILLNESS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE DISORDERS

Stigma-Free Morris County posterThe Chatham Borough Council has voted to join the Morris County “Stigma Free’’ initiative, passing a resolution to make Chatham the 19th town in Morris County to join the countywide effort to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

Chatham Borough joins recently announced participants, Mendham Borough, Mountain Lakes, Roxbury, and Washington Township as Stigma Free communities in Morris County.

Other participants are the town of Boonton, Boonton Township, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Hanover, Jefferson, Long Hill, Madison, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Parsippany, Rockaway Borough and Rockaway Township

In addition, the Montville Public Schools recently became the first K-12 District in Morris County to enroll in the initiative, and Sparta in Susex County also has been the first Sussex County town to do so.Scene of Chatham

“It is critical that we raise awareness and promote the available resources for a mission to assist those challenged by this illness. Indeed, I am proud to add Chatham Borough to the list of communities who embrace the Stigma-Free movement,” said Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris.

We are really heartened by the support shown for this Stigma-Free initiative by towns, like Chatham Borough, and so many health providers and agencies, and our county residents,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “This initiative is an important step in helping affected people seek recovery, without fear of stigma or reprisal.’’

The Morris County Board of Freeholders in 2016 passed a resolution designating Morris County as a Stigma-Free County and asked the county’s 39 towns to consider enrolling.

Morris County has created a Stigma Free website www.morriscountystigmafree.org to call attention to the initiative, provide information and resources, and a calendar of upcoming events related to mental illness and substance abuse. A Stigma Free Toolkit also is available for towns and communities. Also, check the Stigma Free news and calendar site at https://morriscountystigmafree.org/news/

Morris County’s goal in creating a Stigma Free initiative is to disseminate information and foster a stigma-free environment where people are free from judgment and can get the help they need to recover.

Stigma Free RibbonHere are some other voices supporting the initiative:

Mendham Mayor Neil Henry: “We’ve all been affected by mental illness in some way and becoming Stigma-Free is the first step in fighting this disease as a community. Only by removing the perception of shame or embarrassment will we erase those feelings that prevent our neighbors, friends and family members from seeking help.

Washington Township Police Chief Jeff Almer: “With this program, we can continue to teach people about mental illness and substance abuse disorders, and erase the stigma attached to them. “This will make residents, as well as the police officers, more aware of the illnesses and work to create an environment where we can assist with wellness and recovery by providing needed support and resources.’’

Roxbury Mayor Mark Crowley: “The Stigma Free Initiative is so important because it stresses that we become socially responsible for positive efforts to end discrimination of mental health and substance abuse disorders.’’

As part of the countywide initiative, residents are urged to take the Stigma Free Pledge:

As a supporter to those who have a mental illness or substance use disorder, I understand the importance of recognizing the high prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders.

  • I also know that when recognition is coupled with reeducation and understanding, health-seeking action can be taken. These actions lead to recovery, which is possible for everyone.
  • The Three R’s (recognize, reeducate and reduce) depend on each other to effectively Stamp Out Stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • This is what I, as an individual, charge myself to do—to fully Stamp Out Stigma and clear the path to health-seeking behavior. It begins with me.

For more information on the disease of mental illness, visit www.nami.org and for more information on NAMI’s national Stigma Free effort, visit: https://www.nami.org/stigmafree

Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace which results from the judgment by others. When an individual is labeled by their illness they experience judgment and prejudice. Stigma brings experiences and feelings of shame, embarrassment, distress, hopelessness and reluctance to seek or accept help.

Gov. Christie On Treating Addiction: I’ve Gone To Too Many Funerals, Too Many

Words from Governor Christie:

Addiction is addiction. It is a disease, and we need to utilize every modality we have now to treat it, to save lives, and to expand the modalities that can help to treat this problem. If we continue to treat it is a moral failing, we will continue to lose lives by the tens of thousands and the worst part of that is, it’s unnecessary.

Watch the full video:

Gov. Christie to Address “Do No Harm” Opiate Forum for Physicians and Healthcare Providers

A symposium for the medical community on the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and professional responsibilities in prescribing and monitoring patients’ use of these medications will be held on Monday, June 12, at the Morristown Medical Center.

Gov. Chris Christie will address the medical community at this forum.Gov. Christie to Address

Other featured presenters will include:

  • Morris County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Brad Seabury;
  • Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Christopher Jakim;
  • Dr. Lewis Nelson, Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey School of Medicine;
  • Matthew R. Wetzel, Assistant Deputy Director, Division of Consumer Affairs, N.J. Office of the Attorney General;
  • Andrew E. Blustein, Partner/Director, Garfunkel Wild, P.C. Attorney at Law, as key presenters.

Organizers suggest that attendees should include: CDS licensed healthcare providers, family practice physicians, emergency room physicians, pain management physician assistants, podiatrists, physicians in hospital, clinic, or private practice setting;
and all other medical professionals.

There is limited seating, so you are urged to register to attend this free event as soon as possible. Attendees will receive CME accreditation free of charge.

Objectives of the event include: 

  • Describe the prescription drug and opiate abuse epidemic in your community
  • Identify ways to improve your practice to prevent prescription drug abuse among your patients
  • Discuss the link between prescription drug abuse and heroin abuse
  • Address the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and the rising levels of heroin abuse and deaths
  • Explore safer prescribing practices

LOCATION:
Morristown Medical Center -Atlantic Health System
100 Madison Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960

To register, or for additional information visit drugfreenj.org/DoNoHarm

Montville School District is First K-12 District to Join Morris County’s Stigma Free Movement

Montville Township Entrance SignThe Montville Township Board of Education has voted unanimously to pass a Stigma-Free resolution, becoming the first K-12 district in the county to do so, and joining 18 Morris County towns that have enrolled in the countywide effort to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

The Montville School District joins recently announced participants, Mendham Borough, Mountain Lakes, Roxbury, and Washington Township, which enrolled as Stigma Free communities in Morris County.

Other participants are the town of Boonton, Boonton Township, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Hanover, Jefferson, Long Hill, Madison, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Parsippany, Rockaway Borough and Rockaway Township

Sparta in Sussex County has joined the initiative as the first Sussex County town to do so.

“We became interested in supporting a Stigma Free environment based on information gleaned from the School Climate and Culture Survey conducted during the 2015-2016 school year through the YEA initiative with the United Way,’’ said Montville School Superintendent Rene Rovtar.

“Our results showed that stress and anxiety are a concern among students at all grade levels. We feel it is important that students feel that if they are struggling with any mental health issues that they know that it is okay not to be okay, and that many resources are available to help them. We want all of our students and staff to know that the district stands ready to support them with no stigma attached.”

“We are pleased that the Montville School District is supporting this Stigma-Free initiative, taking an important and first step to get the young people of our county involved in this effort,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “We look forward to the energy and support that students in Montville can bring to this initiative in helping affected people seek recovery, without fear of stigma or reprisal.’’

The Morris County Board of Freeholders in 2016 passed a resolution designating Morris County as a Stigma-Free County and asked the county’s 39 towns to consider enrolling. County College of Morris and the Morris County School of Technology have supported the effort, with Montville becoming the first school district to pass a resolution of support.

The initiative encourages Stigma Free towns, communities, school districts and organizations to participate in an active way through educational programs, events and/or active discussion.

Morris County has created a Stigma Free website www.morriscountystigmafree.org to call attention to the initiative, provide information and resources, and a calendar of upcoming events related to mental illness and substance abuse. A Stigma Free Toolkit also is available for towns and communities.

Morris County’s goal in creating a Stigma Free initiative is to disseminate information and foster a stigma-free environment where people are free from judgment and can get the help they need to recover.

As part of the countywide initiative, residents are urged to take the Stigma Free Pledge:

  • As a supporter to those who have a mental illness or substance use disorder, I understand the importance of recognizing the high prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • I also know that when recognition is coupled with reeducation and understanding, health-seeking action can be taken. These actions lead to recovery, which is possible for everyone.
  • The Three R’s (recognize, reeducate and reduce) depend on each other to effectively Stamp Out Stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • This is what I, as an individual, charge myself to do—to fully Stamp Out Stigma and clear the path to health-seeking behavior. It begins with me.

For more information on the disease of mental illness, visit www.nami.org and for more information on NAMI’s national Stigma Free effort, visit: https://www.nami.org/stigmafree

Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace which results from the judgment by others. When an individual is labeled by their illness they experience judgment and prejudice. Stigma brings experiences and feelings of shame, embarrassment, distress, hopelessness and reluctance to seek or accept help.

Montville Township Public Schools Stigma Free Resolution

WHEREAS, the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, along with the Morris County Department of Human Services, supports the designation of Stigma‐Free Communities in every municipality, and;

WHEREAS, at their April 27, 2016 meeting the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously passed a resolution supporting the designation of Morris County as a Stigma‐Free Community, and;

WHEREAS, Morris County recognizes that one in four Americans has experienced mental illness, including substance use disorders, in a given year according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and;

WHEREAS, mental health problems are more common than cancer and heart disease combined, affecting children and adults, including more than half of our Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans treated at Veteran’s Administration hospitals, and;

WHEREAS, given the serious nature of this public health problem, we must continue to reach the millions who need help;

WHEREAS, the stigma associated with the disease of mental illness is identified as the primary reason individuals fail to seek the help they need to recover from the disease, and;

WHEREAS, Stigma‐Free Communities aim to inspire public interest and open dialogues about stigma, raise awareness of the disease of mental illness and create a culture wherein residents who have the disease of mental illness feel supported by their community and neighbors and feel free to seek treatment for the disease without fear of stigma and;

WHEREAS, promoting awareness that there can be no “health” without mental health will break down barriers and encourage residents of all ages to be mindful of their mental health and ask for help when needed, and;

WHEREAS, local resources are available to treat the disease of mental illness so no one resident needs to suffer alone or feel hopeless, and;

WHEREAS, establishing Stigma‐Free Communities will raise awareness of resources and encourage residents to engage in care as soon as the need is identified so recovery can begin, hope is inspired and tragedies are avoided, and;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Montville Township School District recognizes the community needs and supports the efforts of the County of Morris and the Township of Montville in designating the Montville Township Public Schools as a Stigma‐Free School District.

How do we talk about mental health?

What if we talked about physical health the absurd way we talk about mental health? For #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, ATTN: put together a video to show the stigma mental illness sufferers deal with every day when talking about their issues. Watch below: