Share Your Opioid Story is a national movement to decrease the stigma surrounding substance use disorder by sharing personal stories. For many people, stigma is one of the hardest obstacles in seeking and receiving treatment and in sustaining recovery. Stigma is the invisible stain we place on people and ourselves. Stigma shames and isolates and creates divides of “them” and “us.” Stories can change that. Sharing your story can impact people, including yourself.

We encourage anyone who has experienced any kind of substance use disorder, supported someone with substance use disorder, lost a loved one to substance use disorder, or been impacted by substances as a pain patient to share your story. Your story can make all the difference for someone affected by substance use disorder – as well as for someone who has no idea what it’s like to live with substance use disorder or to love someone with the disease.

Substance use disorder can affect anyone from any background. You’ll see that people with all types of experiences and backgrounds interact on our site. We also attempt to highlight the various paths to recovery and to decrease the stigma around medication-assisted treatment. We believe that people with substance use disorder deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Individuals sharing their stories may share various instances of treating others in a negative manner, whether that is physical or emotional pain, while in active substance use disorder. We acknowledge that substance use disorder is a disease that can hinder one’s brain. While we may not necessarily condone or support some of the inflictions shared, we do not judge those sharing their mistreatment of others while active in their substance use disorder but see it as a sign of strength for coming forward and being willing to share their experiences, including the dark moments. Share Your Opioid Story is a space for individuals who are dedicated to making a positive impact. Our hope is that by sharing these stories, not only will it decrease stigma, but it will put faces to the disease that has affected so many loved ones and community members.

You are not alone, your life is important, and there are several ways to seek help for yourself or to help others find the help they need. Please see our Resources page for information. Thank you to everyone who has shared your stories with us and to everyone who has read and shared these stories with others. Your story matters.


This project is coordinated by Dr. Glenn Sterner, a faculty member at The Pennsylvania State University and the coordinator of the Greater Philadelphia Office of the Criminal Justice Research Center at Penn State Abington.  This project has been funded by support from the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Penn State University, and the Independence Blue Cross Foundation.