You can’t. Let’s stop the stigma.
Many of us have made assumptions about what someone who uses drugs looks like and acts like. But as our collective understanding of addiction evolves, so should the way we talk about drug use.
Addiction is not a choice someone makes. There are many reasons someone might start using an addictive substance: teenagers pressured into trying something once, only to never get a second chance. People trying to cope with tragedies or abuse. People who have been prescribed a drug by a healthcare provider and then can’t stop taking it.
In short: people who are your neighbours; your friends; your family members. Anyone could be using drugs, and they might be doing so alone and in secret.
If we want to find a solution to the opioid crisis and reduce deaths from overdose, we must address the stigma around drug use, and address addiction as the health issue it is.
Find out more: wdgpublichealth.ca/stigma