Addiction does not discriminate, it affects all walks of life.
That’s the message of this year’s National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), an annual campaign from November 26 to December 2 led by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction (CCSA). This year’s NAAW theme, All Walks of Life, highlights that addiction does not discriminate and affects people of all ethnicities and socioeconomic classes. This could be your colleague, your friend, or someone in your own family. The campaign urges us to come together and work towards reducing the stigma and stereotypes around substance use, addiction and recovery.
To increase awareness of and reduce stigma, CMHA encourages the public to STOP and consider whether language used:
• Stereotypes people with substance use issues?
• Trivializes people with substance use issues?
• Offends people with substance use concerns?
• Patronizes people with substance use issues by treating them as if they were not as good as other people?
NAAW is an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about substance misuse, prevention, and treatment. In Canada, one in ten people suffer from some type of substance use disorder and approximately 21 per cent of the population (roughly six million people) will meet the criteria for addiction in their lifetime.