Pueblo fights drug addiction, ends treatment stigma with exposure

PUEBLO – A local community is tackling drug addiction and the stigma surrounding treatment. It all takes place through a traveling art exhibition presented by the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.

The traveling exhibit is called “Your Words Have Power,” and these words are an opportunity to educate the Pueblo community and help fight substance use.

“I think people with addiction issues are like you and me, they’re humans and addiction doesn’t discriminate,” said Laura Lisonbee.

The exhibit shares the stories of 15 residents of Pueblo County who have been affected by substance use. Lisonbee is one of the residents of Pueblo County who shared their story.

“I was addicted to opioids for the majority of my 20s,” Lisonbee said. “I started out the same way most people do, prescription drugs that got me to buy even more potent prescription drugs, and actually led me to buy heroin in the community. street.”

Lisonbee said she avoids seeking help because of the stigma associated with getting treatment.

“That’s the reason I haven’t asked for help for so long. I thought, will my family be proud of me? Will my friends still want to hang out with me? I lose my job? ”said Lisonbee. “My story is a little different because I went to college and didn’t hang out with people who used it.”

The exhibit now sparks a conversation about ending the stigma of getting treatment and how drug addiction can affect anyone you know.

“I would hear people say, ‘Are you an addict? You don’t look like it,'” Lisonbee said.

Lisonbee has been sober for five years now and looks forward to educating the community on her sobriety journey. Based on her experiences, she also pursued a career as a program director for The Friendly Harbor, which provides recovery support to people with mental health and addiction issues.

“I’ve been very lucky. Not many people are, so we need to bring some education to the community and hopefully get more resources here,” Lisonbee said.

The exhibit will be moved to different locations in Pueblo until August. Currently, he is in the Department of Public Health and Environment in Pueblo. On July 17, the exhibition will be located in El
Pueblo Museum. In August, the exhibition will be at Rawlings Library. On August 21, it will be moved to Friendly Harbor.

For more information on the exhibition, click on here.

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