WE have, I believe as a Society become so numbed to Addiction the growing number of drunks and addicts on the street or another article in a Celebrity Magazine about the latest Celebrity Alcohol or Related Death that I get scared that it is causing us as this Society to stop realizing that from year to year, Decade to Decade since just when the War On Drugs was started by President Nixon the problems is growing and progressing and affecting our Children at an alarming rate. I thought I would share what is Addiction and then some facts to get us thinking again about this problem. The Addiction Industry is in shambles with horrifying relapse rates and essentially no lobbying help up in Washington and no forward thinking individuals willing to challenge the Treatment Industry to get out of Treating this Chronic illness with and Acute illness model and to stop putting profits ahead of taking a real hard look at what is broken.
- “A primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.”
ASAM, April 11, 2011
- Chronic relapsing disorder characterized by drug-seeking and drug-taking behaviors despite negative consequences.
- Lifetime prevalence: 12%
- Causes 20% of all deaths per year
- Costs in excess of $600 Billion per year
- 1/3 of all hospital in-patient costs are addiction related
(SAMHSA, 2011 NSDUH; Ries, et al., 2009)
- Addiction makes up 25% of primary care patient visits.
(Jones et al., Am. Fam. Physician, 2003)
- 2 million of the 2.3 million incarcerated Americans have histories of alcohol or substance abuse
(U.S. Department of Justice, 2006)
- $28 Billion to treat 40 million Americans with
substance use disorders
(CASA at Columbia University, 2011
- There are over 28 million people suffering from addiction
and less than 12% receive treatment.
(SAMHSA, 2010 NSDUH)
- 40-60% of people relapse after drug and alcohol treatment.
- 80% relapse rate with opioid dependence.
What I believe is happening as the problem of the Disease of Addiction gets worse, to cope, Families and Spouses fall into the unspoken result of Addiction at an alarming rate:
Changing your own behavior to adapt, ignore, struggle or otherwise cope with another person’s substance abuse problem. Some of the behaviors that families, friends and co-workers adopt are called “enabling”. Enabling is action that you take to protect the person with the problem from the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, enabling actually helps him or her to not deal with the problem.
It is time for a real Organization to rise up in the Addiction’s field and help solve several problems that are not being addressed.
- Treatment in it’s current format does not work. An Organization needs to be first honest enough to say it and secondly capable of looking forward for solutions that work and might make it so all of these Private Pay Centers need to put some of their profit back into the Center towards solutions that work.
- Long Term Addiction Care Management™ needs to be built into the Continuum of Addiction Care. Much like Diabetics are seen regularly after their initial diagnosis and treatment experience.
- While 12 step Programs are great, and this writer is an active member, having them as the only real Continuing Care solution handed out to Patients leaving Treatment Programs is and old archaic way of treating this Disease.
- Someone needs to keep watch over the Pharmacology Industry as it tries to sells us more drugs to get us of off drugs – does this seem weird and scary to only me? Read my Blog on Detox meds becoming the norm in abstinence instead of staying on the Detox unit. At rapids amounts they are showing up in our High Schools.
- Intervention needs to be regulated, taken off TV where it is made to seem like a joke or Meeting that is fun to watch like a car wreck. Intervention is a serious Model for getting an Addicted Brain full of Denial into Help. Many reputable Intervention Companies, like 1st Step Interventions act with Integrity and have all of the required licenses, Certifications and Insurance to ensure the process is Professional, Ethical and has high success rates.
- Insurance companies need to be made to have Parity towards sick patients with the disease of addiction just like any other.