Mount Laurel, New Jersey – (July 7, 2020) – The stigma associated with addiction and mental health is one of the barriers that keeps people from seeking treatment. The risk of going untreated can be dire for some people. In 2018 alone, there were more than 68,000 overdose deaths in the United States. That’s why the NFL Alumni Association (NFLA) and American Addiction Centers (AAC) have teamed up to raise public awareness through a new social campaign.

As part of the campaign, former NFL players are wearing their jerseys and encouraging their fans to do the same on Twitter with the hashtag #TacklingtheStigma. Fans who post a photo and tag @AAC_Tweet and @NFLAlumni will be entered into a drawing to win a Hall of Famer signed football, personalized video message from a former NFL player and other prizes.

Former Dallas Cowboys’ star Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson also shares his personal struggle with addiction in a special PSA. To watch his video or learn more about the campaign, visit

“Far too many people still view addiction to drugs and/or alcohol as a moral weakness instead of a disease and that stigma causes people to suffer in silence,” said Derek Price, CEO of AAC’s Desert Hope Treatment Center and former NFL Player. “We must change perceptions in order to end the stigma and that starts by raising awareness.”

In addition to participating in the challenge, other ways to help tackle the stigma include:

  • Avoiding hurtful labels
  • Learning about drug dependency and how it works
  • Seeing a person for who they are, not what drugs they use
  • Replacing negative attitudes with evidence-based facts
  • Speaking up when you see someone mistreated because of their drug use

“People struggling with addiction shouldn’t have to fight the disease and the stigma associated with addiction and mental health issues,” said NFLA CEO, Beasley Reece. “The National Football League Alumni Association is proud to team up with American Addiction Centers to create an environment of support, healing, love, and understanding. Please join the campaign #TackingtheStigma”

If you or someone you loved one is struggling with addiction, American Addiction Centers offers a 24/7 helpline at 866-244-1070.

About NFL Alumni Association
Founded in 1967 by a small group of successful retired NFL players, the National Football League Alumni is the oldest, most well-known and well-respected retired player organization in professional sports. Membership includes thousands of retired players, coaches, front office executives, spouses, cheerleaders, and avid fans. A primary mission of NFL Alumni is “Caring for Our Own” as we inform, assist, and serve players in their post-NFL lives. Alumni are offered a diverse package of medical, business, and legal services to help keep them and their families healthy, productive, and connected to the league and their former teammates. NFLA is a non-profit organization.

About American Addiction Centers
American Addiction Centers is a leading provider of inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment services. We treat clients who are struggling with drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental/behavioral health issues. We currently operate substance abuse treatment facilities located throughout the United States. These facilities are focused on delivering effective clinical care and treatment solutions. For more information, please find us at  We also offer several online resources for the public. Visit to learn more.