February 26, 2014 / Michael M. Siegel, MD
Drug abuse is a major public health issue that impacts society in multiple ways. Abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs have cost our nation over $600 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity, and healthcare.
Many people are not aware of how or why individuals become addicted to drugs. Contrary to popular belief, drug addiction is a complex disease that takes more than just the intention of quitting to overcome. Although no single factor can predict addiction, biology, environment, and development all are factors that make someone more prone to addiction. Drug addiction is considered to be a brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, and it can be successfully treated so that an individual can live an addiction free, productive, and healthy lifestyle.
There are many treatment options available, as well as helpful resources and support groups those individuals and family members can turn to for help. One Molina Healthcare employee shared a group, Project Hope Michigan, which she helped create in the midst of her own tragic experience. Her son died from a drug overdose and she believes he would have benefited greatly from a group like Project Hope.
Hopefully spreading educational information about addiction and providing support for those going through it can help prevent tragedies like this. For more information about treating addiction and other resources available, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website here.