We all know at least one addict. It might be ourselves. It might be someone close to you. It could be a family member, spouse, child or relative. It might be a friend or a friend of a friend. It could be your child’s teacher, your boss or even the teller at the bank. We all see faces of addicts every day, whether we know it or not. How do I know this is true? Let’s look at the staggering statistics.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, as of 2017 over 20 million American adults battled with a substance abuse disorder. Over 3 million deaths a year are caused by the abuse of Alcohol, making it the 3rd largest preventable cause of death proceeded by tobacco and poor diet and lack of exercise.
But we all drink right? It goes so well with every event in our lives, weddings, birthdays, career promotions, social events. Unfortunately, it also pairs well with emotions, sadness, loss, disappointment and anger. For many of us drinking is our best friend. It never lets us down and is with us during the good times and the bad.
Alcohol is not the only demon we have hidden in our day to day lives, the National survey continues to state:
- About 38% of adults in 2017 battled an illicit drug use disorder.
- That same year, 1 out of every 8 adults struggled with both alcohol and drug use disorders simultaneously.
- In 2017, 8.5 million American adults suffered from both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders.
- Drug abuse and addiction cost American society more than $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crime-related costs.
These are staggering numbers and we can only imagine that in the past two years since they did the survey that the numbers have escalated. According to other sources the rise in abuse is growing in two key demographics, women, especially new mothers and children starting at age 12, who have adapted the habit of binge drinking.
Chances are high that you know someone who is struggling with abuse. What can you do? The first step is to talk about it. Get it out in the open. Discuss the elephant in the room. Keeping it a dirty little secret, helps no one.
How do I know? I’m writing this on the 10th month anniversary of my sobriety. Over 300 days I have lived without alcohol. It was hard not to turn to numbing my pain in the past few months when my daughter Courtney died in June. However difficult I have stayed vigilant because it was alcohol abuse that took her life at 28 years old.
Getting it out in the open, whether it’s you admitting your addiction or acknowledging the behavior you see in others. Take that step! Because, If nothing changes… nothing changes.
About Purse Impressions
In memory of the passing of Courtney Elizabeth Michaels ( 28 years old) and her struggles with alcohol abuse, Purse-Impressions , a Nonprofit Corporation started by her mother Patricia, mission is “To gift graduates from rehab with a purse that celebrates their accomplishments, allowing them to move forward with dignity, strength and the knowledge that someone cares”
Patricia Brusha, President