New Educational Program Reduces Stigma Around Substance Use Disorder

We have started South Shore Health on a path that is vital to our patients, their families and friends, and the health and well-being of the entire South Shore community.

There is no health without mental health. In order to care for the whole patient, we can no longer isolate Substance Use Disorder and Behavioral Health.

They are chronic diseases, much like cancer or diabetes; we must recognize them as such. In September, 125 “Nurse Champions” teamed up with our colleagues at the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at Boston Medical Center to launch our substance use disorder educational program. Powerful stories were shared of loved ones who succumbed to their disease.

Our nurses also had the opportunity to learn about the “Words Matter” model, which seeks to eliminate language in our everyday vernacular that stigmatizes patients with substance use disorder. Reducing stigma not only includes how we speak about patients, but our body language, treatment options, and even how health insurers reimburse providers.

Our “Nurse Champions” will help train all 1,400 of their nursing colleagues through the Grayken Center curriculum over the next two months. 

See why Words Matter in the video below.


Learn more about the Grayken Center for Treatment at South Shore Health.