ABOUT

Addiction is one of Australia’s most misunderstood health conditions. We want to change the conversation about addiction and tackle the stigma and misinformation that stops people getting the help they need.

WHO ARE WE?

We are an independent campaign representing a collaborative industry effort to Rethink Addiction, through evidence-based information and linkages to support.

WHY WE FORMED?

Rethink Addiction was formed to educate and advocate for the need to change Australia’s attitude and approach to addiction

WHAT WE KNOW

We know that addiction is misunderstood, and that stigma is damaging. We also understand that real change is possible but to achieve it we need to Rethink Addiction.

HOW YOU CAN HELP?

You can help end the stigma by joining our campaign and signing our petition or sharing a story of how addiction has touched your life.

OUR MISSION

1

We ask for a more open and constructive discussion about alcohol, drugs, and  gambling and that it become a national priority in public discourse and policy. This includes: 

  • Amplifying real stories from real people that challenge stereotypes and  educate 

  • Fighting stigma 

  • Promoting research, prevention, treatment, harm reduction, support, and  care

2

We ask for a more balanced policy and funding approach that prioritises efforts in  health and social care, not just law enforcement.

3

We ask that a national roadmap be developed that leads to a comprehensive uplift in funding including:  

 

  • Investment in prevention, treatment, support, and harm reduction

  • Investment in workforce 

  • Investment in infrastructure 

  • Investment in research 

 

This roadmap should be developed though collaboration between key decision  makers, opinion leaders, researchers, the voices of lived experience and  treatment, care, and support providers. 

WHY WE USE THE WORD ADDICTION

The Rethink Addiction team recognises that many people find the term “addict” stigmatising. It reduces the identity of people who experience problems with alcohol, drugs or gambling to only their relationship with these substances and activities.

This reductive view is a key driver of the stigma that people face, particularly when accessing health care. Likewise, the term “addiction” can have the unintended effect of reducing a complex range of issues spanning society, medicine, families, and personal factors to an over-simplified and potentially harmful label.  

Rethink Addiction does not use the word “Addict” in any of its campaign activities. However, we do use the word “Addiction” in our title because we know that it is how society refers to these issues and if we want to genuinely address issues of stigma and discrimination we need to reach and engage as many people as possible, from all walks of life.

We respectfully acknowledge that part of “Rethinking Addiction” is addressing how we label and discuss these issues. We welcome the evolution of our language to become inclusive and genuinely reflective of the people and the issues that we represent.