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Addiction issues are all around us within our modern society. There is no demographic of people that it is not being affected somewhere in the nation. One realm that addiction is surprisingly present in is politics, and not necessarily politicians struggling themselves, but rather close family members or connections that are struggling with it.
Politicians and Their Stories
Several politicians have shared their incredibly personal stories of family members and loved ones struggling with the demon of addiction. For instance, in October, Donald Trump had told People magazine about his brother, Fred, who in the end died of alcoholism. Also, at a GOP Presidential Debate in 2015, Carly Fiorina had made an extremely personal admission that she and her husband had lost a child to addiction. She stated, “I very much hope I am the only person on this stage who can say this, but I know there are millions of Americans out there who will say the same thing.” And in yet another instance, Ted Cruz had told Jake Tapper of CNN about a time that he had been unsuccessful in trying to rescue his half-sister from a Philadelphia crack house, and she later died of an overdose in 2011.
There are countless stories of politicians and their loved ones struggling with addictions. Jeb Bush has told stories of his daughter struggling with opiates and crack, and Chris Christie gave a speech about his mother’s nicotine addiction and resultant lung cancer diagnosis. The instances of politicians and intimate connections with addiction seem to be endless. The statistics of this situation are quite overwhelming. In fact, five out of 11 GOP contenders in the last race had close members of their family that struggled with drugs or alcohol, which makes it a staggering forty percent. This is factually quite high, especially when compared with the statistics of the general American populace, where research has shown that between 10 and 20 percent have directly felt the impact of drugs or alcohol themselves or in the lives of their family members. Now, this increased percentage in this group of politicians could be due to a coincidence in a small group, or display that growing up under the public eye, like Bush’s daughter, could lead to further substance abuse, or it could show that the rates of addiction across our society are being undercounted, which seems quite likely. Many addiction counts are done through surveys and other research methods, which could easily be misrepresented by those who are not admitting to addiction, because in reality what upside is there in admitting this massive prevalence of addiction.
There are many experts and researchers that agree with the possibility of addiction rates being much higher than reported. This includes William Moyers, author of the best-selling book, Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption, and vice president of public affairs and community relations at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, who stated “Maybe the time is coming when [the percentage of Americans impacted by addiction] is revised upwards, toward 50 percent.” And Dr. Kim Joy Taylor, director of the National Drug Addiction Treatment and Harm Reduction Program had stated, “Addiction is way more prevalent than people pretend.”
This impact upon politician’s lives could help to drive substance abuse and addiction further into the attention of the public, and assist those around the country to begin to be more honest about addiction. There has begun to be a change in drug policies, such as certain cities and states beginning to shift from punishment of addicts to treatment. Plus, proposed addiction and drug policies were a widely discussed issue during the presidential campaigns. Addiction has been a stigmatized and condemned condition for far too long, and it is time that it receives the attention it needs by helping those all over the nation. A person should not have to lie and hide their addiction out of fear of stigmatization from society, but rather they should be able to seek and receive help openly without being criticized or reproved.
When Seeking Help with Addiction
Addiction can be an extremely long and arduous battle, but it can be overcome. Proper treatment can help a person to work through and address their addiction, allowing them to finally achieve their sobriety. There are many different types of treatment and rehab facilities that can help a person to do so. The large amount of treatment centers out there can make it difficult to know which one to choose, but our staff is here to help with that, as they are knowledgeable and familiar with the various facilities across the nation. They can help to explain the different options and help find the best fit for you or your loved one.