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.
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
Promoting research, prevention, treatment, harm reduction, support, and care
We ask for a more balanced policy and funding approach that prioritises efforts in health and social care, not just law enforcement.
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.