This is a new world we all live in. Battles around the globe consume the news leaving out a private battle that millions of people fight daily. This private battle has ever lasting effects on individuals, families, and friends. The disease of addiction, either directly or indirectly, touches millions of lives daily contributing to more than $539 billion in costs annually according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Diabetes, Cancer, and Coronary Heart Disease combined only equate to approximately $412.2 billion annually. The following sections will breakdown the distributed costs per group showing what the disease of addiction is costing society and how drug rehab and alcohol rehab can help.
Cancer in all forms is expensive to treat, not only on the individual but on society as well. Directly, cancer carries direct costs of approximately $77.4 billion annually just to treat. This cost is shared not only by affected families but by everyone in the form of higher premiums and treatment costs as well as public health programs due to an ever increasing number of uninsured individuals. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 50 million individuals and about 10% of the youth population are all uninsured. The inability of individuals and families to afford or obtain health insurance directly contribute to the direct costs. Indirectly, an additional $124 billion in costs is contributed to a high mortality rate and lost productivity. Although creating a staggering $201.5 billion in costs, Cancer is not alone in creating an economic impact by direct or indirect costs. Both directly and indirectly, Diabetes follows closely with its impact on society with its many forms and ever increasing costs for treatment.
With a social cost impact between Cancer and Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes is a major factor in public health to date. Since the development of insulin in 1921 all forms of Diabetes have been treatable. However, the effects of diabetes can be devastating if left untreated. With the high rates of the uninsured today the costs of treatment are placed on society in the form of higher premiums and public health care programs paid for by taxes. Contributing an estimated $171.6 billion in debt, the social impact of Diabetes alone is a hefty bill. Following suit is Coronary Heart Disease which is the most common form of heart disease and a major health concern for millions.
Coronary Heart Disease
In the world today there are many forms of illness the avoidable, the treatable, and the unavoidable. According to the American Heart Association, Coronary Heart Disease stems from Coronary Artery Disease which begins development in the youth mainly due to an improper diet and lack of exercise. At this period, arterial plaque is developed which stays with them through the adult years eventually turning into Coronary Heart Disease. Contributing over $109 billion in costs, Coronary Heart Disease, the most common form of heart disease, takes the lives of over 385,000 people annually in the United States alone.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Illegal drug use in the United States consumes more lives than vehicle accidents annually. Drugs like Heroin, Cocaine, Spice, or pharmaceutical painkillers or stimulants are abused by millions daily. Taking more than 50,000 lives annually, the addiction to illegal drugs is a major contributor to social debt adding a massive $181 billion in costs. That’s over $490 million per day and about 5 people per hour. There are a lot of things that $490 million could do for society every day if allocated elsewhere.
The addictive nature of nicotine is one of the strongest known. According to a national survey on drug use and health, over 65 million people in the United States ages 12 and up, had used or are actively using tobacco products on a daily basis. Since the mid 1990’s, the smoking of tobacco products has decreased dramatically and has migrated to a smokeless form which still causes health degradation and cancer. This directly contributes to the national health crisis on an ever increasing basis with a daily cost of just over $540 million. Every minute someone dies due to the use of nicotine products.
Topping the list, alcoholism is the most costly with a price tag of over $224 billion in both direct and indirect costs. According to the Center for Disease Control, every day 32 people die in an alcohol related automotive accident. Additionally, 31,903 die from Cirrhosis of the liver, and millions more suffer from alcohol related gout, anemia, high blood pressure, seizures, nerve damage, pancreatitis and many other health problems. Many of which, left untreated, can turn into worse issues and may be possibly life threatening as well. Additionally, Alcoholism also contributes to the destruction of families, the loss of careers and many mental health issues.
How can rehab help
As with many diseases, there is help available. Although there is not a cure for addiction, many proven methods exist to assist the individual suffering from addiction. Over the years, doctors and researchers together have assisted in the recovery of millions of addicts. According to Dr. Steven Melemis, one overwhelming conclusion that has been reached is the length of treatment. The longer the individual stays in treatment the better chance they have of a successful recovery. Additionally, research and documents provided by The Journal of Neuroscience has shown that the disease of addiction is traceable to a single gene in the human genome.
Identified as a Cyclic AMP responsive element binding protein, CREB, is known as the addiction gene. This gene is present from birth when either one or both parents were substance abusers or had this gene. This gene does not only contribute to substances but may also be attributed to several types of addictive traits in ones persona. The development of one’s addiction is generally associated with an inability to handle high amounts of anxiety and stress causing them to seek a method of self-medication.
Addiction rehab can help by teaching the individual techniques that have been honed over several decades of testing and use. Depending on the substance of choice, some treatments may require the inclusion of medications for a period of time identified by the clinician others may require personal and group training. Addiction rehab allows the individual the opportunity to build a toolset for the battle they are about to go through. It allows them to build a network of support from those who are fighting the daily battle against genetics right along with them.
Addiction rehab can help with both the social and economic barriers that one will experience in the years to come. Since addiction does not have a cure and is only treatable, individuals fighting the disease have several avenues available to them for support. Thousands of people around the world have developed non-profit treatment centers focused specifically on addiction. Some facilities like the Valley Hope Association offer family oriented treatment programs, extended stay programs for inpatient treatments, out-patient treatments, and even on-line based treatment programs.
Addiction rehab is possible, although there is not a cure, there is help and there is hope. Never give in, never give up, and keep moving forward.