YES! I would like to sign the petition to change the conversation about addiction in Australia
An open letter to all Federal, Territory and State Leaders, Shadow Leaders, Ministers and Shadow Ministers overseeing portfolios relating to addiction treatment, research and education
RE: PETITION FOR A NATIONAL PLAN TO ADDRESS ADDICTION IN AUSTRALIA
Addiction is a health condition that can affect one in five Australians. Yet, due to stigma, shame, and a community belief that recovery is not possible, individuals touched by addiction typically delay seeking help for nearly twenty years. Addiction impacts Australians regardless of background and stage of life, and we need to urgently address it as a national health priority.
The disruption to regular life caused by COVID-19 has resulted in the alarming escalation of drinking and gambling harms, reflected in a dramatic rise in calls for help and demand for residential treatment.
Many people don’t understand how or why some of us become addicted, with common stereotypes worsening the damaging stigma associated with this health condition. We know that there are multiple factors that can contribute to someone’s risk of developing an addiction, with trauma, isolation and mental health being the leading causes. We also know that addiction is treatable, and that recovery should be the expectation. But unless affected individuals are encouraged and empowered to seek the support they need, then change will be slow.
Against this backdrop, we write to you, as decision makers to urge you to recognise the pressing need to Rethink Addiction. Specifically, we ask that:
Treating addiction be established as a national priority;
A summit for meaningful knowledge exchange between addiction experts be convened;
A national plan and roadmap to address addiction be drafted; and
A dedicated addiction research fund be established to improve treatment outcomes and service pathways.
Now it is more important than ever to have a national approach to combating addiction in Australia.
Rethink Addiction is an independent coalition of like-minded organisations supported by the general public that are calling for a shift to Australia’s attitude to addiction and treatment. We want to change the conversation about addiction and tackle the stigma and misinformation that stops people getting the help they need.