Art Reducing Stigma

Just Like Any of Us

Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg, KY

These portraits were created with the goal of reducing the stigma surrounding opioid use disorder. Each of these portraits are of people from Prestonsburg and Floyd County who have been affected in some way by America’s opioid crisis. 

Featured in these portraits are Mayor Les Stapleton, Fire Chief Mike Brown, director of the Mountain Center for Recovery and Hope Reneé Ratliff, Shawn Allen, and Shawna Edwards. 

The stigma associated with opioid addiction can cause people to feel isolated and hopeless. Shawna, Reneé, and Shawn each know exactly how long they haven’t used and they work hard to stay that way, showing others that recovery is possible. 

Not everyone affected by opioid addiction is able to turn their lives around. For the estimated 1,672 Kentuckians who died from opioid overdose in the past year, recovery is no longer possible. 

These people were not less resilient or weaker in some way. Nor were they any less deserving of a second chance. They were human beings, who deserved love and acceptance – just like any of us

Special thanks to Mayor Les Stapleton, Joe Campbell, Robert Daniels, and Michael Duty at the Mountain Arts Center, Zach Watts, and Takeform for making this installation happen. 

This HRSA RCORP RCOE program is supported by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $12.3M with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by HRSA, HHS or the US Government.