Fraction of Americans With Drug Addiction Receive Treatment, Surgeon General Says

by YukieS on December 16, 2016 - 11:24pm

Addictions in America

Millions of Americans suffer from addictions today. Addiction is a form of disorder that genetic predispositions could play a role that some people are susceptible to a certain type of substances or actions. The class covered this topic, and we read several articles. Some covered recovery process from patients’ prospective, another covered doctors and professional treatment provider’s experiences, and new treatments. This article’s emphasis is perception of the society towards opioid and alcohol addictions. It also addresses recovery treatments are not readily available, and presents data to show urgency of the addictions in America.  

Addictions are not yet reorganized as disorder in our society. Most of us judge them; a person with addiction is a delinquent individual and has no sense of self discipline.

There is one out of every seven people in the United States will experience drug and alcohol related addictions. Death toll of drug overdose is all time high in 2014. Currently, there are only one in ten of people with addiction can receive a treatment.  Because opioids and alcohol addictions are wildly spreading in recent years that we need more accessible and available treatment system in place to fight with this epidemic. While Obama administration pleaded with Congress this year for $1 Billion to fight the opioid epidemic, congress allocated only $181million. If the new administration roll back the Universal healthcare, it could negatively be affected on many who otherwise cannot afford the treatments.

When patients are ill, they need help to get better. When any illnesses are not treated, they get out of control and there would be consequences. In opioid or alcohol addictions that may bring some violence, sometime crimes, some cases murders and suicides. The overdose deaths toll includes legally prescribed opioids. Each time someone dies, creates another broken family and it affects so many lives around them. 

It is happening in cities and suburbs, across different SES, all ages form youth to elderly. It is matter of our medical system, healthcare system, social services system and social awareness.  If we don't support addiction recovery, we are just letting this snowball effects and handing huge problems down to our future generations. The article says; “It’s time to change how we view addiction,” Dr. Vivek H. Murthy the surgeon general, said in releasing the report. “Not as a moral failing but as a chronic illness that must be treated with skill, urgency and compassion. The way we address this crisis is a test for America.”


What is the first step that an addict must take to properly diagnosed and start proper treatment?  Is it accessible? What if someone in your family or a friend having a problem, do you know where to seek help?  Proactively involvement of our government, local governments and schools that can save millions of people in the future. We must treat an addiction as a chronical disease. Promote public awareness, and support efficient and affordable treatments, including counseling for patients and for their families. Just like we support the researches and cures of other diseases, learn about it and promote the prevention.


Yukie, your article hits home of the major problem in the growing addiction issue: availability of working recovery centers. Ulster just hosted the film "Generation Found" about the rising rates of addiction among adolescents and a new working model for recovery. It's called Alternative Peer Group and it's about supporting adolescents through their addiction by attending a high school only for addicts (peers!) through the process. A wonderful hopeful film about an incredibly distressing problem. Here's the link to it. Also, just a heads up, the Ulster Biology and Nursing clubs are hosting an open community event to discuss addiction, treatment, and prevention in March. Let me know if you want me to keep you in the loop.

This topic is great along with the information that was given, it's sad how addiction is portrayed throughout our communities. I would think seeking treatment would be a lot more accessible due to the urgency. The increase in crime rates and overdoses should call for more adequate services in order to not only help these individuals but improve these crime filled communities. To answer your last question regarding family members with addiction is a sensitive topic especially because most of the time they don't feel as if it's needed which is heartbreaking.

About the author