Facing Addiction in America
As you all may or may not know, the Surgeon General recently visited Aberdeen Proving Grounds, right here in Havre de Grace, to discuss the role each and every one of us has in combating the opioid epidemic. We at Ashley want to share with you a way that you can make an impact your community. Information is power; if each us is well informed, we can then become ambassadors within our community, about the epidemic and empower us all, as a community to change the outcome. If we do this, we can build a system to help battle the payers and parity surrounding this issue. Below, you will find the the Surgeon General’s postcard with tips for preventing opioid misuse. My hope is that you will take this and share it with those around you to spread the word and arm your fellow community members with the right tools and information to make a difference.
66.7 million people aged 12 or older in the United States reported binge drinking in the past month and 20.8 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder in 2015. Approximately 48 million people said they used an illicit drug or misused prescription drugs in the past year. Individuals, families, communities, and health care systems are struggling to cope with substance use and its consequences. Substance misuse and substance use disorders are estimated to cost society a staggering $442 billion each year in health care costs, lost productivity, and criminal justice costs.
It’s time for a change. Substance misuse and addiction are solvable problems. We have reason for hope and optimism. Through research, we have knowledge and a clear understanding that addiction is a chronic brain disease that requires medical intervention, not moral judgment. Scientifically proven prevention programs and policies are available to reduce people’s risk for alcohol and drug misuse. Treatment is effective and more than 25 million people are in remission from drug or alcohol use disorder. We also know that recovery is possible. Ongoing recovery support services, like mutual aid, recovery coaches, and recovery housing, assist people in building a healthy, productive life.
The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health addresses the issue in clear and understandable language. It shows us that everyone has a role to play in changing the conversation about substance misuse to improve the health, safety, and well-being of individuals and communities across our nation. The Report provides suggestions and recommendations for individuals, families, community leaders, law enforcement, health care professionals, the private sector, policy makers, and researchers. 9 Header Title I encourage you to visit the website to review the Report and related materials today. The findings and recommendations will help you take action. Together we can improve the health of those we love and reduce the impact of substance misuse and substance use disorders in our communities and on our nation.