50,000 deaths in 2014…. This was just reported by the U.S. government. That translates to 136 people dying each day — 5 per hour.
Was our government reporting casualties of the Syrian civil war? Cancer deaths? Deaths on highways? Murders? No. This breathtaking number is the number of deaths due to drugs and alcohol in our country in one year.
Yet where is the outcry? Where is the urgency to stop these preventable deaths (no one has to start using drugs and alcohol)?
While we as a country spend billions providing medical treatment to alcohol and drug users ($36,000,000,000 annually, to be exact), why are we not focusing on preventing our youth from using drugs and alcohol? (In fact, less than 5% of government spending on drugs is in the form of prevention.)
And what about the single most vulnerable group in our society to this epidemic? What about the children of alcoholics and addicts who, at no fault of their own, are up to 20 times more likely to become afflicted with addiction than their peers?
These children are born with a genetic demon waiting to be set loose and ruin their lives, at no fault of their own. Yet can you name more than one or two programs in the United States that attempt to help this group? Why are the most vulnerable left to fight this battle alone? Why are these kids not treated like children with a rare heart condition that must be monitored for life? Certainly such patients would never be ignored. Yet the children of addicts are left alone; the forgotten ones.
Marc Treitler and his family are the founders and creators of the family addiction education website www.potatoallergy.com and the authors and illustrators of My Dad Is an Alcoholic, What About Me?: A Pre-teen Guide to Conquering Addictive Genes.
Latest posts by Marc Treitler (see all)
- There Is Hope: An Alcohol Intervention Success Story - March 29, 2017
- One Simple Step Parents Can Take to Prevent Teen Drug Use - March 8, 2017
- 5 Parent Tips for Keeping Kids Away from Drugs and Alcohol - February 9, 2017