August 31, 2023

Oneida County Announces Anti-Stigma Campaign

News Photo

Oneida County announced its “All of Us Oneida” anti-stigma campaign as part of a special event hosted by the Opioid Task Force today in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day.

“As we continue to lose lives to overdose at alarming rates across the country, it’s incumbent upon us to take a deeper look at how stigma may unknowingly contribute to more overdose deaths in our community,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “It’s evident that we have many dedicated people working hard to help drug users, but all of us— community leaders, first responders, treatment providers, media, families and the general public— can do more to see the humanity in people with addictions by learning how we can root stigma out of our words, policies and practices so we can more effectively help the people who need us.”

The “All of Us Oneida” anti-stigma campaign is a partnership with Shatterproof and will utilize a collective impact approach that will bring people together in a structured way to achieve social change and advance equity through: 

  • Community partnerships
  • A community impact committee
  • Story collection and sharing
  • Webinars and resources
  • Social media campaigns

“Shatterproof is honored to collaborate with Oneida County on the ‘All of Us Oneida’ campaign,” said Jody McIntosh, MPH, Director of Community Engagement | Stigma. “Using both digital and community efforts to amplify addiction stigma reduction messaging, this work will reflect the unique diversity of Oneida County by sharing stories of people with lived experience, those who work in the field, and those impacted by substance use disorder. Collectively, these stories will bring hope and humanize addiction.”

Shatterproof will conduct a needs assessment and evaluation of residents and community organizations before and after the campaign to measure changes in addiction stigma. “All of Us Oneida” is slated to launch this fall.

That campaign announcement was made as part of the Oneida County Opioid Task Force’s Overdose Awareness Day event in which Picente was joined by fellow Task Force co-chairs, District Attorney Scott McNamara and Sheriff Robert Maciol, as well as other key partners who gave updates and presentations on the group’s continued efforts.

“The stigma surrounding addiction is problematic on many levels,” McNamara said. “That stigma prevents drug users from admitting they have a problem and can cause a barrier to my office directing them through the criminal justice system in the most beneficial way. When we can overcome that stigma, we can get them into Drug Court, which is a huge help in getting people on the road to recovery.”

“It continues to be an honor to co-chair the Opioid Task Force and I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish,” Maciol said. “As I have said time and time again, we cannot arrest our way out of drug addiction. Eliminating the stigma that surrounds this issue is key to our mission of using out-of-the-box methods to battle the opioid crisis and save lives in our community.”

A new overdose awareness campaign marketing the availability of naloxone and fentanyl test strips was also revealed at the Overdose Awareness Day event. In just over one year, the Task Force has distributed more than 1,800 naloxone kits and more than 240 naloxone cabinets through its “Save-a-Life” program, as well as 1,100 fentanyl test strips. Thousands of Deterra Drug Deactivation bags have also been distributed to the public so they can safely and permanently deactivate, destroy and dispose of prescription medications in the convenience of their homes.

A new 24/7 access public health kiosk installed by the Task Force at the Giotto Center at 1002 Oswego Street in Utica has seen 343 visits since coming online in mid-May. During that time, 59 doses of Narcan, 38 fentanyl test strips, 46 wound care kits and 32 COVID-19 test kits have been distributed.   

For data, reports and more information on the services provided by the Oneida County Opioid Task Force, including how to receive free Narcan-by-Mail, please visit:

People who use drugs and their loved ones can access treatment and recovery services by calling 211. The Never Use Alone Hotline can be reached at 1-800-484-3731.

About Shatterproof: 

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the U.S. Shatterproof is focused on guiding communities, removing systemic barriers to recovery, mobilizing the country to advocate for change and ending addiction stigma in the U.S. Find Shatterproof on Facebook, X, and YouTube @ShatterproofHQ or follow us on Instagram at @weareshatterproof. To learn more, visit If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, or a substance use disorder, text SHATTERPROOF to 741741 for help.

You can watch the video of today's event here.

You can see the event presentation here.


Oneida County Partners