Sigma towards people with drug and alcohol problems is far reaching and embedded in many aspects of society, it can create barriers to recovery and inhibit access to routine opportunities stopping people from getting the help that they need and moving forwards with their lives.
As a society we underestimate the power of compassion, having the ability to connect with the suffering of another human being is simple, profound and can exist in every one of us. Compassion connects us to our own humanity and to those around us. To our families, friends, communities and wider society.
Compassion can be the smallest action, it can be expressed in a smile, a hug, a loving word, putting your arms around someone so they feel safe, making someone feel understood, seen or heard, it’s a gesture that has the power to heal and transform.
We know that having compassion is not the be all and end all of recovery and there is more to it than that, yet shame and stigma can’t coexist with compassion, and if we can encourage more compassion and understanding for people suffering from drug and alcohol problems we can start to breakdown some of the barriers that are stopping them from getting the lifesaving help that they need.
The Everyday Hero campaign aims to breakdown the stigma surrounding addiction, by highlighting and role modelling positive action and compassionate behaviour. The more that we highlight and promote compassion the more likely we are to inspire the same in other people.
If you have a story to tell about how someone showed you compassion in your recovery and the difference it made please get in touch with Lucie Mauger on firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you.