IT'S TIME TO #RETHINKADDICTION
YES! I would like to sign the Rethink Addiction pledge
An Australian dies almost every hour from alcohol, other drug, and gambling harm. One in four Australians will struggle with alcohol, other drugs, or gambling in their lifetime. Roughly half a million Australians who need help can’t access it due to a lack of available treatment or fear of judgement.
These are not just numbers. They are people – family, friends, and colleagues from all walks of life – who deserve our love and support, but misconceptions about addiction, and the stigma that results, mean that far too often they experience the opposite.
Addiction is not a choice. It is a health condition that can affect anyone of any age, background, socio-economic group, or profession.
We must leave no one behind. Some communities face multiple and compounding experiences of stigma and discrimination, and additional access barriers to health and support services, making them more vulnerable than others.
Addiction can take many forms. 1.4 million Australians are impacted by gambling harms. At $1276 per person, Australia has the highest annual per capita gambling spend in the world.
Addiction is one of the most stigmatised health conditions worldwide. Stigma is damaging and can delay help-seeking by years, even decades. Some never get the help they need. We must tackle stigma to promote help-seeking.
Cultural attitudes can limit help-seeking by normalising and blinding people to the harms of alcohol, other drugs, and gambling. We must challenge harmful cultural norms.
It’s never too early to get help. Early treatment leads to better health outcomes. That’s why for every $1 spent on treatment, up to $7 is saved.
It’s never too late to get help. The lives of people living with addiction, and their families, matter. There is always hope.
We know treatment works. With the right treatment and support, people can manage their addiction, achieve recovery, and experience an improved quality of life.
We also know investing in treatment alone is not enough. We must bolster our efforts in prevention, early intervention, and harm reduction, which also have significant social, health and economic benefits. We must support further research and pursue evidence-based policy and practice reforms to reduce alcohol, other drug, and gambling harms.
We cannot afford to keep ignoring this problem.
Real change is possible. To achieve it, we need to have a frank and fearless conversations and implement evidence-based solutions. Most importantly, we will share the real stories of addiction to dispel the myths and end the stigma stopping people from getting the help they deserve.
To #RethinkAddiction I will:
Tackle stigma by calling it out when I see or hear it.
Call for change by contacting my local Member of Parliament to let them know responding to addiction is an issue that matters to me and my family.
Change the conversation by sharing the Rethink Addiction campaign’s facts, figures, and real stories of addiction.
Build the movement by sharing this pledge to Rethink Addiction and encouraging others to do the same.