Patients Come Together for “Stigma Spit” Open Mic Nights

Last month, members of Haymarket’s Health and Wellness Department revived the Center’s popular Stigma Spit, an open mic event for patients to express their feelings about substance use and the stigmas attached to it.

“We started Stigma Spit a few years ago, but we had to put it on pause when the pandemic came around,” explained Ronnie Hughes, a Coordinator for the Health and Wellness Department and the principal organizer of Stigma Spit. “We want to bring this back to help our clients socialize and demonstrate to them that sober-living can be fun.”

Stigma Spit has two rules: no booing, and only tasteful material is allowed. At September’s event, patients performed a variety of acts that included singing, skits, poetry, and much more. For many of the original pieces, patients incorporated messaging about their recovery.

“We consistently have had excellent performances at Stigma Spit,” said Hughes. “We had one patient a few years ago recite Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and I still remember that one because it was so powerful. That same year we also had patients in the same unit do a skit about their transition from substance to sober living, and that was very well-done.”

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