costs of addiction to taxpayers

Despite the various conflicting issues that our country continues to battle over, there are some matters that we can all agree on wholeheartedly.  One such issue is the ever-growing problem of people falling into drug and alcohol addiction.  Addiction has damaged lives, families, careers, and communities all across our country.  And it continues to ensnare more and more people every day.

One of the most substantial detriments in our country about substance abuse is the massive economic cost.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Health (NIDA), “Abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is costly to our Nation, exacting more than $700 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity, and healthcare.”  These financial statistics are staggering, and they are a significant detriment to our economy.

Raising Awareness About the Costs of Addiction

A bright side of the shocking statistics of addiction is that it is finally calling on the attention of those in power.  This results in actions like the Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, issuing an extremely comprehensive report on addiction.  An essential aspect of his report is that he emphasizes the importance of helping addicts rather than treating addiction as a moral failure.  In an interview with PBS, he states that “Unfortunately, for too many people, addiction is a disease of choice, they see as a character flaw as evidence of moral failing, but what we know they are clearly from the science, is that addiction is actually none of those things it’s a chronic disease of the brain.”

This approach is what is needed to be able to address the problem truly.  For far too long has addiction been treated as a criminal issue, only to be solved by punitive methods.  Addiction treatment is what helps people to overcome the issue, not imprisonment.  This fact has been shown in the massive amount of individuals imprisoned for addiction and then relapsed shortly after being released.  A major issue is that there are enormous amounts of individuals struggling with addiction, but a very minute number of them are receiving treatment in comparison.  According to the report Defining The Treatment Gap, “An estimated 23.5 million Americans are currently addicted to alcohol and other drugs and need treatment and other supportive services. Unfortunately, only one in 10 of them (2.6 million) receives the treatment they need. The result: a treatment gap of more than 20 million Americans.”  Handling this disparity is one of such factors that would help to reduce the numbers of those struggling with addiction.

What You Can Do About You or a Loved One’s Addiction

One of the most essential factors in the beginning to decrease the numbers of those addicted is to get those who are struggling into an addiction treatment center.  Inpatient treatment is the most effective and successful way to overcome addiction.  One consideration about this though, is that not every treatment center is alike.  There are some that are going to have much more comprehensive programs than others.  One of the most successful forms of a treatment program is when the program treats each person as a unique individual, as this allows the addiction as a whole to be addressed.  We are here to help people find the best fit in a treatment center for themselves or a loved one.  Give us a call today and let us help find the ideal treatment center for you.

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