Partnership for a Healthy Lee County urges community members to break silence on addiction stigma

Community survey will help PHLC determine how to end stigma

La Salle County Corner Rich Ploch, dumps medication pills onto a hazardous drugs tray inside a filter balancing containment hood at the La Salle County Forensic Center on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023 in Oglesby. The hood balances exposures of fumes and other particulates containing powders and removes toxic particulate and other matter when handling the material. State statute requires corners to use machines like this after collecting the medication from the scene of a death.

DIXON — The Partnership for a Healthy Lee County is extending an invitation to Lee County residents to open up about their perspectives on the issue of addiction.

Recognizing addiction as one of the most stigmatized health conditions globally, PHLC aims to shed light on the severity of this illness, often met with harsh moral judgments and discrimination, said Natalie Andrews, chairwoman of PHLC’s Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Workgroup.

In an effort to address these challenges, the PHLC substance use disorder/mental health workgroup has joined forces with the Addiction Policy Forum, a national non-profit organization. Together, they are launching a comprehensive survey to analyze the attitudes and perspectives held by the general public toward individuals using drugs, those with substance use disorders and those in recovery from addiction.

To encourage community members to share their thoughts on the current state of addiction anonymously, Andrews said all responses will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. No identifiable information will be shared, ensuring a safe space for individuals to use their voices.

To participate in this conversation to learn more about addiction in the community, visit

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