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Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Are America’s Number One Health Problem
There are more deaths and disabilities each year in the U.S. from substance abuse than from any other cause.
Roughly 18 million Americans have alcohol problems; about 5 to 6 million Americans have drug problems.
More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking.
More than nine million children live with a parent dependent on alcohol and/or illicit drugs.
Heavy drinking contributes to illness in each of the top three causes of death: heart disease, cancer and stroke
In 2007, an estimated 23 million Americans needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem, but only 2.4 million received treatment. Research has long shown that the abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs is the single most serious health problem in the United States, straining the health care system, burdening the economy, and contributing to the health problems and death of millions of Americans every year. Furthermore, alcohol and illicit drug use contributes to the disintegration of families, communities, and has resulted in a huge growth in crime and the prison population.
However, there is a solution:
Chemical dependency treatment works. According to several conservative estimates, every $1 invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced alcohol and drug related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft alone. When savings related to health care are included, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1. For those of us still struggling, treatment allows us to live a happy, honest and caring life. A life without the constant lies, shame and guilt. A life where we are not afraid to look in the mirror, a life where we can learn how to cope with anxiety and stress. A life where we no longer hurt the ones we love, a life without hangovers or withdrawal. A life where we no longer fear the law. A life filled with purpose and meaning. A life filled with true friends and true love. A life where we no longer fear the unknown. We can find the serenity and happiness that we deserve.