September is National Recovery Month. Every year at this time, we recognize the importance of spreading awareness of substance use disorders and working to end the opioid epidemic. While the nation’s focused largely shifted to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the opioid crisis continued to worsen in the background. It is important to understand how the disease of addiction affects people in different ways and that every recovery journey is different. By becoming more informed, we can help raise awareness of addiction and combat it.

Below are a few facts you may not know about addiction:

  • Many factors can influence the development of addiction. Environment, mental health, genetics, substance use and past experiences such as trauma can all be causes of addiction.
  • In 2020, drug overdose deaths rose by 30%. The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) estimates the number of deaths to be 93,331 compared to 72,151 recorded in 2019. This can largely be contributed to interrupted treatments, isolation and stress from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 18 reported binge drinking in the past month. Binge drinking is usually defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in about two hours. According to the CDC, excessive drinking is responsible for 95,000 deaths nationwide each year.
  • An estimated 14.5 million Americans over the age of 12 are reported to have alcohol use disorder (AUD). This number includes more than 400,000 adolescents ages 12-17. Out of the nearly 15 million people who struggle with AUD, only 7.2% receive any treatment.
  • The annual economic impact of substance misuse is estimated to be $249 billion for alcohol misuse and $193 billion for illicit drug use.

While these numbers show how widespread and serious the issue of substance abuse is, it’s important to know that recovery is always possible. We must continue to have conversations about the prevalence of addiction to reduce the stigma and encourage those who are struggling to seek help.

There is still so much work to be done to expand access to treatment and awareness around addiction.  At CleanSlate we work to overcome any barriers holding patients back from receiving the treatment they need. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, we can help. Visit www.cleanslatecenters.com.

Bradley Helton

National Business Development Manager