As we go about our daily routine, it is difficult to imagine the prevalence of addiction in the United States and the need for drug rehab. On the surface, everything seems bountiful as businesses thrive and society as a whole enjoys a variety of shopping and entertainment activities daily. Unfortunately, there is another side of society we often ignore because it exists secretly in back alleys, dark bars, or basements where the world of drug-related activity thrives, secluded from the brightly lit surface we normally perceive.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the cost of drug addiction in the US amounts to more than 600 billion dollars a year. Roughly two-thirds of these costs are attributed to lost productivity due to premature death, illness, and incarceration of addicts, including lost productivity of the victims of drug-related crimes. The majority of funds allocated for drug-related issues are spent to treat lung disease, cirrhosis, or overdoses. Law enforcement and incarceration are also a large part of the costs incurred. In a study conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, only a little over 2% of the funds went towards awareness and prevention campaigns or research.
The battle against addiction often seems to be a hopeless cause due to the newer, more addictive drugs that appear regularly. Not only are street drugs becoming more deadly, legal prescription drugs are evolving to be more potent. Financial analysts predict that pharmaceutical production will become a 1.2 trillion dollar industry by 2016, and these additional new legal drugs combined with the emerging new illegal substances increase the chance for more addictions and additional costs to society.
Addiction In The United States
It is said that America is a nation of “pill-poppers,” and researchers have found that the US is the largest consumer of cocaine, marijuana, and legal prescription medications. This should be a major cause of concern for all citizens, especially those with children in high school or college. Everyone is influenced somewhat by what is shown in movies or on television, but the young generation is especially vulnerable to social pressures. When drug or alcohol use is constantly promoted as an accepted or expected means of recreation, young people are more likely to follow the crowd. This can have a devastating impact on society due to lost revenue to the government and escalating costs as a result of the increasing number of addictions.
Addiction in the US has had a tremendous impact on society and on families in a number of ways. Most of the direct effects are felt by the immediate family of the addict, but gradually, the community begins to feel the effects as they are called on to provide services to the addict. Some of the most profound impacts felt by society are a result of the following:
- Law enforcement and incarceration costs for drug-related activity and crime
- State or local treatment and rehabilitation programs
- Emergency room visits due to drug-related injuries or overdose
- Job loss resulting in the need for welfare and food-stamp programs
- Spread of disease such as HIV/Aids, STD’s, hepatitis, and other blood-borne diseases
- Unwanted pregnancies or babies born with addiction or deformities
- Child care programs for neglected or abused children of addicts
There are certainly many more effects of addiction on society, and if these continue to increase, it will become more difficult for governmental agencies to continue providing the level of assistance that has been available all these years.
How Can Rehab Help?
Rehabilitation programs of today are much more effective than those of the past. Specialists have learned that addiction is a complex condition that involves much more than simply the physical dependence on a substance, and they have designed programs that can be tailored to adapt to the specific needs of each individual. The goal is to heal the individual mentally, physically, and spiritually to restore a sense of self-worth for continued success. Clients who succeed in these programs become productive, contributing members of their communities, thus bringing down some of the costs incurred by society.
Effective treatment programs resolve an addict’s ability to manage their own life and remove them from being a burden to taxpayers. The best programs are those where the individual learns methods for confronting stress, conflict, or temptation without resorting to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. These programs also provide clients with life skills training, nutritional guidance, coping techniques, and in many facilities, clients can choose faith-based, holistic, or traditional approaches to treatment. When a client leaves treatment feeling empowered and capable of being an asset to their family and community, the positive effects can be far-reaching.
In an ideal world, addiction in the US and the need for rehab would be a thing of the past, but this is the real world for now, and our facility referral service is dedicated to treating as many addicts as possible in an effort to save lives and have a positive impact on society.