So…Just Who’s Responsible for Combating Drug Addiction?
We’ve all seen those after-school public-service announcements about drug addiction prevention is everyone’s responsibility: the cartoon animal that simplifies addiction as a matter of choice; the abbreviated and overdramatized snapshot of how addiction affects the family unit; the sparsely scripted “this is your brain on drugs” ads, etc. What this messaging lacks in nuance, and in some cases production value, it makes up for in substance. The reality is that addiction is everyone’s problem, particularly in an era when the potential for opioid abuse can stem from so many sources. More and more non-traditional stakeholders need to roll up their sleeves and get involved.
Drug Addiction at Work
The rising costs absorbed by large employers to treat staff with drug addiction is a serious concern among the insurance and business communities. Over the past 12 years, employers saw these costs increase 800 percent, from $273 million to over $2.6 billion. Nevertheless, employers are more inclined to fear the potential legal issues, loss of productivity, high turnover and threat to other employees’ safety that untreated abuse can yield.
Addiction at Home
Family and close friends are often best positioned to intervene in their loved ones’ drug addiction; this is true for both adults and children. Addressing substance abuse and chemical dependency in the home is critical to keeping the family intact and mitigating the impact of addiction in the community outside of the family unit. There is an abundance of resources available for families of people battling drug addiction. Recovery Unplugged offers family involvement as part of our treatment paradigm.
Addiction in the Community
Communities all over the nation have seen, first-hand, how drug addiction can increase crime, devalue property and jeopardize the safety and personhood of residents. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that addiction costs an average of $740 billion annually, between crime, loss of productivity, healthcare and other related costs. In an effort to keep restore order and quality of life for their fellow residents, many communities are taking matters in their own hands, including faith-based entities, afterschool programs and non-profit organizations, to bolster drug addiction prevention and education.
All Hands on Deck
We live in a world where drug addiction can take root in far too many situations and circumstances. To that end, it’s the responsibility of more and more entities to address the problem. As the effects of drug addiction are amplified and brought to bear in more and more arenas, more and more stakeholders need to do their part and take matters into their own hands.