The fact of the matter is that 21.5 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2014. The reality is that our nation is struggling with addiction and alcohol abuse. Of those 21.5 million American adults struggling with a substance abuse disorder, 80% of them also have a problem with alcohol. Over a quarter million of drug-related emergency room visits are related to heroin abuse.
These stats may seem staggering and overwhelming; and that would be because they are. The facts out there paint a black and white picture that the substance abuse problem in our country is far more progressive and deadly than anyone thought it was ten years ago. The numbers of those addicted raise at a higher rate than those who can find and get access to that help. With restrictions and absurdly high deductibles placed by insurance companies today, most people seeking that help can’t financially afford it.
Considering what gets spent as a nation to battle and combat the effects of addiction and alcoholism one would think that more resources could and should go into preventive care and education. In 2007 alone drug addiction and alcoholism cost more than $200 million in healthcare, criminal justice, legal, and lost workplace production/participation. The financial aspect can have a number placed on the damage done, however, the emotional and physical toll it takes on our nation cannot be measured accurately. By the time you read through this short piece multiple people lost their struggle to addiction. Multiple families lost their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives. If you know someone struggling from alcoholism or drugs, please don’t hesitate to reach out right now.