Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office Selected as a Pilot Site for Nationwide Anti-Stigma Initiative

Sheriff Patrick W. McDermott on Tuesday announced that the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) has been selected as a pilot site for the nationwide Anti-Stigma Initiative launched by the Addiction Policy Forum. The Anti-Stigma Initiative includes over 100 pilot sites nationwide with the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office being the only jail in New England to bechosen for this program.

Starting in December, the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office will provide participants with one-on- one counselling and small group sessions which address the roadblocks the stigma of addiction can create. Participants will also receive information on the science of addiction, evidence- based treatment options, and medications to treat addiction.

“In order to have a chance in successfully fighting against the stigma and grip of substance use disorders, we must continue to pursue all avenues of treatment, intervention and education. The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office is at the forefront of this battle, and is committed to finding solutions to this health care crisis,” said Sheriff McDermott. “This partnership with the Anti- Stigma Initiative will provide those we serve with additional tools to help overcome substanceuse disorder and remain on a successful, healthy path forward.”

As part of the pilot, NCSO will participate in a study being conducted by the University of Delaware and the Addiction Policy Forum (APF). The study aims to measure addiction knowledge, confidence in responding to a substance use disorder, and levels of stigma, including stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. NCSO will also field test the “Responding to Addiction” intervention developed by the APF to increase knowledge about substance use disorders, correct misconceptions, and reduce stigma.

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