Healing Cortland has announced that the organization, along with several local and regional partners, have begun a campaign to reduce the stigma associated with medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and work to help people understand on managing common challenges to staying in treatment.
In 2021, Cortland County experienced an all-time high in fatal overdoses, with 17 deaths. 16 of those deaths were attributed to opioid use. For 2023, 5 people have died from overdoses in the county.
Opioid use disorder (OUD) is considered to be a medical condition for those with an inability to stop their use of an addictive substance. Those who struggle with OUP can take medication, sometimes for the rest of their lives to manage their chronic health conditions. So far, there are three FDA approved medications for treatment. Those include: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. These medications can help lower the risk of a relapse and possibly overdose.
Challenges remain in the availability and acceptance of the medications, Healing Cortland stated in a press release. With this, Healing Cortland (a project with CACTC) has launched a campaign which will focus on staying in medication treatment.
The campaign will help those with OUD and the supporters they need by helping them understand the importance of medication treatment, recognizing everyone’s journey to recovery is different, learning how to overcome commonly experienced barriers, and improving support for those who are in medication treatment.
“This campaign offers a really exciting opportunity to connect with people through stories,” says Aster Parrott, the Healing Cortland Community Engagement Coordinator. “Our previous campaigns have been very informational, very fact-oriented. But we need to recognize that it’s a very personal and emotional experience to live with a substance use disorder and to start treatment. I hope that these stories can convey some of the person-centered, emotional experience to help people listen to the messages: medication treatment is an evidence-based clinical standard of care shown to reduce risk of overdose and support patients’ paths to recovery.”