WARE, Mass. (courtesy of WWLP, Kayleigh Thomas, Digital Reporter) – Reducing the stigma around those struggling with substance use disorders brought healthcare providers together Tuesday night.

Dozens of doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and EMTs gathered Tuesday evening, to learn about anti-stigma messaging around substance use disorders. This is on the heels of a Healing Communities Study for Belchertown and Ware, finding problematic overdose deaths.

This event served as a reminder that people and their families are in need of support and resources. It pointed out that substance abuse disorders are medical conditions, and not to be seen as a sign of moral weakness.

“We’re hoping that with more naloxone in the community, more resources, that people aren’t as isolated and stuck in shame about their substance use,” said Healing Communities Study Coordinator for Belchertown and Ware, Alyssa Curran. “That they are actually getting outside, getting some help connecting with others and knowing that they are not alone.”

There was also a big push to make methadone treatment more accessible to rural Eastern Quabbin communities. Mobile solutions to bring treatment out to those areas is in the planning stages.