Why Treat Drug Addiction as a Public Health Issue
With addiction continuing to take a fatal and disastrous toll on society, it’s no wonder why the drug epidemic was declared by President Trump as a “public health issue” in 2017. In spite of this classification, drug addiction is still treated as a criminal issue. By understanding drug addiction as the disease that it is, treatment options can be delegated appropriately and the health issue addressed instead of misjudged as a moral failure.
Understanding Drug Addiction
Addiction is a disease, not a moral dilemma. However, addiction was not always viewed this way, which is why there are all types of misconceptions about those suffering from substance use disorders, such as, it’s a choice to “just stop” using drugs and the issue is a lack of self-control. These couldn’t be further from the truth because addiction involves the individual being unable to stop in spite of wanting to or trying to. Having an addiction doesn’t mean that the addict just needs more discipline.
An addict has a physical and physiological disease that affects their ability to make decisions and interferes with their responsibilities in life. It’s not a matter of the addict needing more discipline to control themselves but rather about the addict receiving critical treatment for their addiction and underlying issues causing them to seek out substances initially so that they can find healthier ways to cope.
Addiction has more to do with the individual than it does about the alcohol and drugs, which is why the saying goes, “treat the person, not the addiction.” While drugs and alcohol do play an important role in addiction, they are a symptom of the problem.
Addiction Is A Disease, Not A Moral Failure
Instead of continuing to treat addiction as a moral failure and incarcerating addicts who are suffering from the disease of addiction, it is time to put more emphasis on treating the individuals for the very real disease that they have.
While steps have been taken to provide treatment for addicts in place of criminal convictions for drug offenses, there are miles to go when it comes to treating addiction as the disease it truly is. The public health issue of drug addiction and alcoholism will only continue if we do not move forward with taking the necessary actions to properly address addiction as the disease it is.
The public health issue of addiction deserves to be viewed and addressed with the accuracy and attention it so desperately needs. It wouldn’t be right to approach any other illness as a criminal issue, so drug addiction as a public health issue shouldn’t be any different. Society has too skewed of a view on the disease of addiction, and if there was ever a time to come forward and break the stigma on drug addiction, then now is the time.
Lives are at risk every day because of addiction, and many have died. The amount of people that have died from drug overdoses and intoxication just in the past year have far surpassed previous epidemics. As the biggest public health issue of our time, drug addiction deserves proper research, more treatment options, and less of a criminal approach.
Treatment for Drug Addiction
While there is no cure for addiction, there are options for the treatment of addiction. Addiction treatment should involve an individualized approach that helps target the physical, emotional, and mental components of addiction. The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs offers a wide range of addiction treatment services, including a medical detox, alcohol and drug rehab, inpatient residential rehabilitation, partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient program, halfway houses, and sober living.
The full continuum of care at The Watershed is designed to help treat addicts and integrate them back into society with resources and confidence. At The Watershed, each addict can begin the process of recovery and embark on a journey toward a new life.
You don’t have to stay stuck in active addiction. The Watershed is here to help 24/7. Addicts can and DO recover at The Watershed. Call today at 1-800-861-1768 to begin your recovery.Tags: Addiction, Addiction Treatment, disease of addiction, drug addiction, drug addiction treatment, public health issue