CDHS shares 11 new stories in Lift The Label opioid addiction campaign

Lift the LabelDENVER (May 10, 2019) — The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) has released 11 new stories from Coloradans as a part of the Lift The Label opioid anti-stigma campaign. The new stories, some video and some written, feature Coloradans who are family members of loved ones who have struggled with opioid addiction. The family members share their experiences with stigma and their efforts to support loved ones seeking recovery. These stories, as well as 15 Coloradans’ stories of recovery, are available at

One notable face in a new video is Lakewood state Senator Brittany Pettersen, whose mom, Stacy Pettersen, struggled with opioid addiction throughout most of her adult life and is now in recovery. In their video, Senator Pettersen says, “She’s an example of what’s possible. And we need to tell our stories, because that’s how we’re going to reduce stigma.”

OBH has also created a training for medical professionals, behavioral health professionals, and law enforcement to eliminate stigma and connect Coloradans with opioid addiction to effective treatment. The training covers the science behind medication-assisted treatment and the stigma around opioid addiction and treatment, and it provides professionals tools to help someone with opioid use disorder get into treatment. The training is available at

“The Lift The Label campaign aims to reduce stigma, highlight the benefits of medication-assisted treatment, and ultimately get people with opioid use disorder treatment,” said Robert Werthwein, Director of the Office of Behavioral Health and acting CDHS Deputy Executive Director for Operations. “The goal of the training is to equip professionals with the information and tools they need to help that person in their moment of need, and be a part of their recovery.”

Lift The Label, launched in 2018, is a public awareness campaign that strives to remove damaging labels and stigmas that prevent those with opioid addiction from seeking effective treatment. The campaign was developed by OBH and is funded through the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

If you are interested in knowing more about the curriculum, or would like to have a presentation delivered to a group of medical, behavioral, or law enforcement professionals, please contact Charlotte Whitney at Learn more about Lift The Label at

All videos are available in the carousel at, and the direct Vimeo links are included below. Video files are available upon request, and interviews can be arranged by responding to this press release.

●    Senator Brittany and Stacy Pettersen
●    Cristen and Cory
●    Leon
●    Christina and Susan
●    Magda

●    Alma
●    Dan
●    Julie
●    Kaylan
●    Michele
●    Rich