Erick Lauber, professor of Journalism and Public
Relations and director of Community Health and Leadership at MARTI, recently
gave a talk to the Armstrong-Indiana Drug Free Communities Coalition on the
strength of addiction stigma locally. In
the audience was a mixed group of community members, first responders from
local units, and addiction recovery specialists and agencies.
The information Lauber presented had been gathered earlier
from a county-wide survey and also a new survey conducted in Armstrong, Indiana,
and Somerset counties. The data he
presented confirmed that most people believe the opioid epidemic is a serious
issue, but the comments many individuals chose to provide were shockingly
negative. Many spoke out against the widespread use of Narcan, while others
suggested harsher criminal punishment for those struggling with addiction.
such responses in mind, Lauber urged his audience to take into account the
results of his work, stating, “This is important to know, because part of being
able to provide the help your agencies are providing is to understand what
public perception surrounds addiction.”
For more information, view the full
article in the Kittanning LeaderTimes.