According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) “In 2010, an estimated 22.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—or 8.9 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug or abused a pyschotherapeutic medication (such as a pain reliever, stimulant, or tranquilizer) in the past month”.
The NIDA goes on to state “There continues to be a large “treatment gap” in this country. In 2010, an estimated 23.1 million Americans (9.1 percent) needed treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol, but only about 2.6 million people (1 percent) received treatment”
These are daunting statistics. We involved with healthcare must continue to expand our knowledge and treatment to those in need. In my practice, I regularly treat patients that struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. The disease is complex and there is no simple solution but through a network of care and accountability many people are able to escape the darkness.
Are patients seeking help but unable find it? Are we able to provide help when they look for it?