ERASING THE STIGMA OF OPIOID USE IN THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY
The Council’s “Real Talk” program organizes Black community conversations to help attendees identify the signs and symptoms of opioid dependence; educate communities on the nature of opioid drugs and the treatment options available; reduce the stigma associated with opioid and substance use disorder; provide access to Medication-Assisted Treatment and other Substance Use Disorder programs; and, increase awareness of the medications used in these programs.
In 2021, the Council conducted outreach to hospital emergency rooms, outpatient programs, jails, churches, senior centers, community centers, and courts in Alameda, Solano, and Contra Costa counties. The project convened twenty-six (26) interactive community workshops branded as Real Talk Conversation to engage the African American community. Four hundred and eighty (480) participants attended the workshops either in person or virtually; 77% of which were African Americans.
Attendee’s contributions helped us expand the purview of our research to include mental health and sleep deprivation awareness as necessary considerations for erasing the stigma of opioid addiction.