I’m pissed. No, I’m way beyond pissed. For the last year I have played by the fricken rules, made nice and tried to engage in conversation the shot callers in the Addiction Treatment Industry and Government leaders to start a real dialogue about addiction. But you see, I am not part of the club. I am just the guy on the front lines, down in the mud, the blood and the tears of addiction and have been for over 30 years. I am the guy who sits with the family to try and help them make sense out of how their child completed a treatment program, “coined” out, maybe even got a certificate of completion and 2 weeks after coming home died of an overdose. Or how their loved one came to California for treatment and then promptly checked out of the program and disappeared into the growing homeless community made up largely of people who did the same thing. And then there is that conversation were their child or loved one went to one of those “evidence based” cash only programs and now they are 100,000 dollars or more in debt and their loved one has come home with an implant to control cravings which has to be regularly renewed at substantial cost rarely covered by insurance. Or even better, addicted to Suboxone which they must take daily to avoid going into withdrawals, costing hundreds of dollars a month out of pocket. Oh, and Suboxone withdrawal symptoms make kicking Heroin look like a walk in the frickin park. And whether implant or Suboxone, the family is pretty much left to figure it out on their own since professional aftercare is virtually nonexistent because Health Care providers don’t cover it as the system is currently rigged. How long do they need the implants? How long should they stay on Suboxone? Do they have to go back to a Medical Detox to get off it, and who pays for that? Did you know that some of the “leaders” in the treatment field are even advocating keeping people on these drugs permanently as a solution? Some even suggesting under the guise of “harm reduction” that we establish safe injection sites staffed by trained medical professionals for heroin users “to protect them” while teaching alcoholics to drink “responsibly” which is a path that has been tried and failed for hundreds of years. Pure insanity.
We have been and are being lied too and as a result, 100’s of thousands have died and millions have suffered who could have been helped. Last year over 70,000 people, most of them young, died of an overdose. And this number does not reflect the 100’s of thousands of others who died of attendant causes to addiction. If someone dies in an accident under the influence, the level of intoxicants in their system may be noted, but the cause of death will be listed as blunt force trauma, exsanguination or some other cause and it is estimated that between 30 to 50% of suicides may be related to untreated or poorly treated substance abuse. An alcoholic’s death certificate typically reads: cirrhosis of the liver, gastroenteritis, esophageal varices (that’s were a blood vessel bursts in the throat and the person drowns in their own blood) and “accidents” like just falling and hitting their head resulting in a subdural hematoma listed as causes of death, but not addiction. Diseases like HIV, Hepatitis, AIDS, fungal infections, Endocarditis and Myocarditis and even TB from sharing needles leading to shortened lives and increased healthcare costs but not attributed directly to addiction. There are many more.
And though addiction has been recognized as a serious health issue for decades, hell, we even amended the Constitution to make alcohol illegal 100 years ago, yet addiction and those suffering from its’ ravages is worse today than ever before. Billions spent and decades worth of educational programs like Scared Straight, Just Say No and D.A.R.E. have accomplished precious little, uncounted Congressional hearings, wasted millions in grants and over a Trillion dollars spent on a failed war on drugs, which has been lost.
With the passage of the ACA (Obama care) in 2010 the Substance Abuse Treatment Industry exploded. To tap into this 60+billion dollar a year pile of money Treatment Centers sprang up all over the country, but primarily in Florida and Southern California which has now become known as the “Rehab Rivera” with over 1000 facilities currently in business. Their web pages invariably loaded with pictures of beautiful beaches and photoshopped smiling people. Many even making promises of long-term success touting impossible to verify statistics as to their “programs” effectiveness.
Look, most of the people who work in the industry are there for the right reasons, many, if not most, people in recovery themselves. Unfortunately, because of the money available unsavory, ethically bereft individuals who will say or do anything, screw the human cost, jumped in.
If you have lost someone to addiction who went through treatment or are losing someone now or are just sick and tired of feeling powerless, join me in changing the world of addiction, tearing down what has so clearly failed and replacing it with focused recovery tailored to the individual instead of forcing them into a “box” that ill fits. Long term engagement and real, consistent, aftercare for them and their families since addiction affects not only the sufferer but those who care and love them as well. And how to pay for it all without primarily relying on Healthcare Providers and Government. Go to https://miraclesofrecovery.com/ and read the blueprint, spread the word and contribute what you can to change the face of recovery, together we can change the world.