A World Day of Social Justice Against Substance Use Stigma

“Be the change you wish to see in the world…”

-- Mahatma Gandhi

The United Nations General Assembly has officially designated February 20 as “World Day of Social Justice.” Since 2009, this day is meant to internationally recognize the need to promote social justice towards various issues including poverty, gender equality, unemployment, and human rights, among many others (UN News).

 Tigger House Foundation understands the need to recognize Social Justice. As an organization, Tigger House seeks to provide medical and emotional assistance to those with Substance Use Disorder (SUD). We also strive to educate the masses in understanding the dangers of this disorder, as well as the stigma against SUD.

In one of our earlier Tigger Talk posts, we shined light on an unfortunate yet very real negative phenomenon in our society that ridicules and discriminates against those struggling with addiction. Such substance disorders range from alcoholism to opiate misuse, to other narcotics. This phenomenon is known as a “stigma,” which, according to www.drugabuse.gov, is “a set of negative beliefs that a group or society holds about a topic or group of people.” 

Rather than receiving proper medical attention, educated awareness, sympathy, and compassion, individuals suffering from SUD are instead treated badly for their conditions. Their situations are seen as a cultural taboo by critics and naysayers who look down upon individuals struggling with SUDs; some critics go as far as to blame these individuals for their own disorders, which could significantly worsen their conditions (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

Tigger House Foundation firmly believes that the stigma against substance use disorders should be considered among the many negative society issues addressed by the World Day of Social Justice. In 1987, the United Nations General Assembly did declare June 26 as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, “as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.” Such a declaration and action are indeed great starts to provide the awareness needed to combat worldwide drug addiction. However, much more is needed to battle the stigma that affects so many who battle the disease of addiction. This stigma should be considered a Social Justice in of itself, and it is something worth fighting for. 

Tigger House will never yield in its quests to assist those seeking recovery from their substance use, particularly towards opiate addiction, and to eradicate all forms of SUD societal stigma. We encourage all, from those with SUDs to concerned friends and family, to explore our TARP medical programs to our educational youth-based Ambassador programs, all of which are designed to make sobriety a reality to those who need it. 

If you, or someone you know, is suffering from addiction, please explore our website, www.tiggerhouse.org, and explore our channels to get the help you need today.

Whether you or a loved one needs assistance in your recovery or getting sober, we are always here for you. Please don’t be afraid to reach out! Contact our Addiction Navigator at help@tiggerhouse.org or 732-865-1559.