Stigma: A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
Malden is working on overcoming addiction with the hashtag Malden Stop the Stigma. According to Maldenovercomingaddiction.com, is states that #MaldenStopTheStigma is about the power of Malden’s community to bring attention to the stigma surrounding addiction. The website also mentions that, “Stopping the stigma is something we can all do to see healing and recovery sweep through Malden and beyond.”
Maldenovercomingaddiction.com also says that “on April 13, 2017 over 200,000 people all over the country were part of the movement to raise awareness to the disease of addiction in Malden.”
Senior Marissa Vasquez who is highly involved in this movement explains that Malden Overcoming Addiction is an organization that spreads awareness of addiction and abusing drug substances and alcohol. Vasquez states, “this organization in our city Malden aims to cease the stigma in which people view addicts, wants to see change in our city, and aims to offer help to those addicted and affected by this disease.”
Vasquez explains how she got involved in this program. She got involved in this movement by the previous principal, Dana Brown. Brown knew Marissa personally and was aware that her own family may be suffering from addiction in which they may have affected her. She explains that Brown thought that by her being in this organization and having the experience of being involved in a support group called Alateen would benefit her. She also mentions how being in this organization as a high school student could help Malden by using her story and her experience with the organization to cultivate her peers.
Vasquez describes how important this organization is to her and how much it really means to her to be apart of it. She says that it’s important to her “not only because [she has] such a big role in this, but because [she has] seen great change in this organization, Malden schools and overall Malden.”
She also mentions that it makes her such a proud resident and also makes her proud that her city offers support to those who have or face addiction. She states, “[she] also [has] many family members who are or were addicts themselves in which they highly affected me, so I never would've thought my background and my story would help others. [She has] found [herself] and learned so much about me personally to use this big heart that [she has] to want to offer support and compassion to peers.”
Vasquez also says that many students should get involved in this organization because it is needed and beneficial to all. Vasquez mentions how she sees many kids struggle with their own problems, whether it is family problems or has to do with their own personal problems that they are dealing with. She goes on to further explain what students may be facing. Vasquez states that “many kids themselves are abusing the use of drugs and alcohol and fail to realize the harm they are causing to themselves and their health not just physically, but also emotionally.”
She then explains that she personally has her own friends that are going through stressed moments who turn to drugs and alcohol thinking that it’ll solve their problems that they may be struggling with. She further explains that the more she has been involved with this movement, the more that she has been able to find herself and MOA started to become like family to her.
Vasquez mentions that Malden Overcoming Addiction is currently thinking about being bigger than Malden. She explains that Malden is currently working with neighboring cities to fight against the addiction together. She also says that this big accomplishment made Fox25 news. Vasquez also includes that there is much more to come within the next two years.
Talk to [email protected] for more information about Alateen or becoming a member