Speak Up NH, a campaign to reduce the stigma of drug addiction in New Hampshire, features Kerry Norton, a family member in recovery, and Anna Battle, a mother in long-term recovery. (Courtesy of the Partnership for a Drug-free NH).

Speak Up NH, a campaign to reduce the stigma of drug addiction in New Hampshire, features Kerry Norton, a family member in recovery, and Anna Battle, a mother in long-term recovery. (Courtesy of the Partnership for a Drug-free NH).

Speak Up New Hampshire

Partnership for Drug Free New Hampshire launches campaign to change the way we think and talk about addiction

The Partnership for a Drug Free New Hampshire has launched a new campaign to reduce the stigma of drug addiction in New Hampshire.

“The most pressing issue that the state is facing today is still the opioid epidemic,” said PDFNH Executive Director Devin Rowe. “When meeting with New Hampshire residents the number one question I receive is, ‘What can I do?’ or, ‘How can I help?’ This campaign makes it very simple for people across the state to do something: to change the way we talk about addiction.”

The Speak Up NH campaign, launched with support from Governor Chris Sununu and dozens of advocates from the prevention, treatment and recovery community, includes advertisements in radio, print, television and social media and features powerful testimony from Granite Staters who are in recovery.

Nate Mack — a father, fiancé and community advocate — is featured in the campaign. He is in long-term recovery from heroin and alcohol addiction. And, he said, support is key.

“From my experience, getting well from this disease has been through other people sacrificing their time trying to help me,” he said. “You don’t have to understand addiction to be compassionate towards it.”

Speak Up NH also sends a clear message about preventing the disease of addiction before it takes hold.

“This campaign deals with one of the dominant barriers of people seeking help: and it’s fear and it’s shame, and it’s stigma,” said Tym Rourke, Foundation director of substance use disorders grantmaking and chair of the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery.

“That doesn’t just prevent people who are deeply in need of treatment and recovery supports from seeking help. It even stops people who might think they are beginning to have risky misuse of substances so they’re afraid to ask for help. So as much as this is a message to reduce stigma and encourage people to enter into treatment, this is also a prevention message: If you’re struggling, it’s okay to ask for help.”

Funding for the campaign was provided by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the Endowment for Health.

To learn more about Speak Up NH, visit the campaign website at www.speakupnh.org.