Changing Minds is a substance use awareness campaign developed by the Health District of Northern Larimer County in conjunction with the Mental Health and Substance Use Alliance. The goals of Changing Minds are to de-stigmatize the disease, shift perceptions of treatment and recovery, and give hope that recovery is possible to the approximately 35,900 in our community who are living with the disease.

Addiction is a disease that changes the brain. When addiction takes hold, the brain is rewired to function as if drugs and/or alcohol are life-or-death and essential for survival. It stops being a choice; it becomes a chronic, life-threatening disease like cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.

One in 10 Larimer County residents suffers from addiction. Less than 1 in 10 of those 35.900 community members will get the treatment they need. That leaves nearly 32,310 in need of care – enough to fill the Budweiser Events Center four and a half times.

But there is hope. The brain can heal. Addiction care can be as effective as treatments for other diseases and works the same way – with medication, counseling, and ongoing support.

The Changing Minds campaign is about starting conversations. When we change the narrative on addiction, we dispel stigma, break down barriers to care, and increase awareness of how to best allocate our community’s resources.

To learn more about the Changing Minds campaign: