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The stigma of addiction is deadly. All too often, the shame and judgement people feel when they’re suffering with a substance use disorder prevents them from seeking treatment. It also prevents doctors and hospitals from treating the condition, and prevents the public from supporting people on their journey to recovery.
In order to end the opioid epidemic, this all has to change. That’s why this week, Shatterproof launched a public awareness campaign presenting a new way to undo stigma.
The campaign, Hope Stems, uses flowers to reveal the truth about opioid addiction: That it’s a chronic illness that changes the brain, and that recovery is beautiful.
In a greenhouse outside of the Macy’s Flower Show in bustling Herald Square Park in New York City, we set up our own floral exhibit. We used 7,000 fresh carnations to create a giant brain sculpture. Over the course of three days, poppies made of black folded paper started to appear in the brain. This signified the physical changes that happen in a person’s brain when opioid addiction develops. It shows that addiction isn’t a character flaw, or a result of bad choices—it’s a brain disease.
Hope stems from treating opioid addiction as an illness, not a weakness. Hope stems from compassion. Hope stems from treatment, not judgment. Hope stems from proudly sharing stories of recovery.
Visit the campaign page to learn more. Share its message with your family, friends, and social media followers.
When we unite around a message of love and support, hope stems from all of us.