It’s time. We must band together to Shatter the Shame of Addiction, and here’s why…
It is estimated that over 23 million Americans struggle with addiction, yet fewer than 10 percent are getting treatment. By comparison, cancer prevalence for all types of cancers [which is the term used by the American Cancer Society to define the number of living people who have ever had a cancer diagnosis] totals 12,549,000 – roughly half the number of people struggling with addiction. Another disease comparison is HIV. The CDC estimates more than one million people are living with HIV in the U.S.
How many of us are even aware of these numbers?
*Figures revised 9.5.14
How many of us are aware that addiction is now understood to be a brain disease and that treating it requires the same treatment model used to treat other diseases, such as cancer, HIV and diabetes (let alone what is the disease treatment model)?
This is not to say that any one disease is more important than another but rather to draw attention to what secrecy and shame can do to effectively treating | preventing a disease. In my opinion, the estimated 90% of those who struggle with addiction do not seek help because recovery is, for the most part, done in anonymity and that continues the secrecy and shame. And it is that secrecy and shame that oozes in and envelopes the family, pulling them into the collusion around the notion, “Addiction isn’t a problem here.”
How Can You Help Shatter the Shame of Addiction? Share the Facts
If we are going to stop this train-wreck, we must start talking about addiction for what it is – a disease – a chronic, often relapsing brain disease. “The Addiction Project,” created by NIAAA, NIDA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and HBO, hosts a great deal of the new research on the brain disease of addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)’s site,”Drugs, Brains and Behaviors: The Science of Addiction,” shares similar information.
As family members – as recovering addicts and alcoholics – as a society as a whole – we can do this. It’s time. Please – let’s change the conversations. Let’s share the facts.
To help you join in this effort, I’ve created a number of “Tweet-size” Shatter the Shame of #Addiction facts. Please browse through them. Then, if you find them helpful, please Tweet or share them through your Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ or simply drop them into an email to a friend. Together – we can do this. It’s time.
Shatter the Shame of #Addiction: understand what makes addiction a disease. Ck out The Addiction Project http://www.hbo.com/addiction/
Shatter the Shame of #Addiction: Know the Risk Factors for developing the disease. Ck out http://tiny.cc/s950ww
Shatter the Shame of #Addiction: understand & get help for #mental illness | key risk factor for addiction. Ck NAMI http://tiny.cc/s4exww
Shatter the Shame of #Addiction: understand “The Dance” | impacts on family members & what they need to recover http://tiny.cc/gagxww
Shatter the Shame of #Addiction: 23.2 million struggle with addiction, only 10% seek help. Your thoughts on anonymity? http://tiny.cc/eefxww
Shatter the Shame of #Addiction: Alcohol Abuse is NOT Alcoholism, but it CAN contribute to developing the disease http://tiny.cc/7kocxw
Note: I have created a separate page for this effort, as well. If you’d like to continue to share these “Tweet-size” facts, check it periodically, as I will upload new lists (hopefully on a weekly basis). And, just so you know, the opening message on that page is the same as this page. So, scroll down, and know that when I update the page, I will date the new list so you don’t have to sort through to find ones you’ve not already shared.
Thanks so much for your help!!!! Together – we can do this!