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Lived Experience Safeguard Guide and Scale

Integrating the experiences of individuals with lived or living experience in substance use disorder projects, campaigns, articles and activities brings invaluable authenticity and depth. When properly stewarded, these stories have the power to build empathy, heal wounds and bridge the gap between knowledge and action. Yet, when stewarded inappropriately in the digital age, these narratives of lived experience can intensify stigma, misrepresentation and harm, commodifying and tokenizing the very individuals that these stories are about. The Protecting Individuals With Lived Experience in Public Disclosure Guide and the Lived Experience Safeguard Scale (LESS) are designed to help individuals and organizations identify and manage the potential harms involved in publicly sharing addiction recovery stories. These resources enable the evaluation and adoption of strategies for better safeguarding storytellers’ wellbeing; the proposed strategies can be mixed and matched depending on the nature of an individual project. Any effort made toward safeguarding wellbeing is valuable.


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