Help Is Available –
June 4, 2018 – Colorado’s $1.8 million Lift The Label campaign is all about challenging the perceptions of people with opioid addiction and encouraging them to get help. The campaign leverages a memorial wall, as well TV and online ads and a detailed website to lift the taboo around addiction. Former television reporter Dana Knowles, a married mother of three, is one of 15 Coloradans sharing their story. In one ad, Knowles spoke directly at the camera and said “I am a recovering opiate addict and this can happen to anybody.” Knowles got hooked on prescription painkillers after hip surgery. She also was haunted by a painful childhood memory of being molested at a young age. Shame kept her from facing her pain. “Where the stigma plays in is that I feel this low, low, low level of shame, which contributes to my sense of isolation and loneliness, and it makes me want to retreat,” Knowles said. After her surgery, Knowles began self-medicating, eventually taking 15 pills a day. It got so bad she stole pills from friends, even her mom, who has rheumatoid arthritis. She says shame prevented her from facing her pain.