December 27, 2016
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 largest detriments to our country with regard to 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 health care.” These financial statistics are absolutely staggering, and they are a major detriment to our economy.
Raising Awareness of the Issue 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 upon addiction. An important 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 truly address the problem. 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 has been shown in the massive amount of individuals imprisoned for addiction who then relapse shortly after being released. A major issue is that there are massive amounts of individuals struggling with addiction, but a very minute number of them are actually receiving treatment in comparison. According to the report Defining The Treatment Gap, “An estimated 23.5 million Americans are currently addicted to alcohol and/ or 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 important factors in 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 with regard to 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 for a loved one. Give us a call today and let us help find the ideal treatment center for you.