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Statistics: Don’t be One

Mar 26, 2018

Statistics:  Don’t be one!

While reading different articles on addiction, relapse rates, OD deaths, total number of people in active addiction, etc., I have come to learn that these numbers are staggering.  In my role at a treatment facility, I am a liaison between patients and facilities.  My job is to help these numbers go down.  I have TONS of relationships established with TONS of counterparts at facilities and looking at it, to form a big picture, it’s not enough people to help.  I’m going to throw out some food for thought to try and paint a picture for the findings I have had:

  • 1 out of 12 TEENS (1.3 million) have reported to have/have had an addiction problem. 

I have a 10-year old and 11-year old.  This number scares the ever-living crap out of me.  I am not one of those parents that sugarcoats anything, and they are exposed to being educated first hand about addiction.  Even with that being said, it makes me nervous that the age of kids using is earlier and earlier.  I was told recently that an elementary school had to call local law enforcement, DCFS, OCS, and a task force in after a second grader brought in baggies of cocaine, to all of her classmates, for show-and-tell.  The learned behavior of this child is mind boggling to me.  For a child of 6-7 years old to recognize exactly what it was and explain to the class everything about it baffled me.

  • 1 out of every 6 YOUNG ADULTS (18-25 years old) have reported to have/have had an addiction problem.

Imagine sitting in a college classroom, at a library, at a football game, anywhere there is a larger crowd.  Take that into perspective.  That means when you’re in a class room of 30, 5 people are battling addiction.  How do we address this with our young adults?  How do we lower that number?  It blows my mind to think that every time I see a group of kids that age.

  • 10% of those who go to treatment, stay sober for longer than a year.

A study showed that 109 people went into a treatment facility.  99 of those people relapsed.  64% of the “relapsers” used within a week.  I am currently employed at a 28-day PHP program and recognize that 28 days is not enough.  It’s a decent amount of time to start a stable foundation of recovery, but you must complete more than a month.  Same study showed that the ones that completed an outpatient program and continued to go to aftercare stayed sober longer.  This goes to show you that if you’re in a program, complete it and continue to attend and stay active.  This will help establish a stronger foundation and help you in more ways than one.

  • 2 Times as many unemployed people struggle with addiction than full time working employees.

If you complete a program, stay plugged in a go to work.  The study showed that if someone had a full-time job, they had less struggles day to day.  They had money in their pocket.  they had bills and responsibilities to handle.  They had aspirations to become more than they were.  The drive is there to become a better person.  They have a different outlook when it comes to using or doing the right thing.  The good in life outweighed the bad, and it continued to be that way.

Those listed above are just a few that really stood out to me.  There are plenty of other studies that show more staggering numbers.  There are more blogs that will include tons of supported information in regards to what else they found during those studies.  People can change, we just have to believe.  Believe in yourself, and everyone’s life that you touch.  You can be that inspiring factor that someone uses to continue to strive and stay sober.

I give you those few things to say this:  Addiction doesn’t care how old you are.  It doesn’t care what you look like.  It doesn’t care if you have money.  It doesn’t care if you have a college degree.  Addiction will attack you regardless.  In my honest opinion 100% of the worlds population is affected (directly or indirectly) by addiction.  Directly meaning a family member or loved one.  Indirectly meaning, someone close to you, a friend, or someone you know.  If you sit and think about people that are in recovery or active addiction, we can all say we know someone.  The scariest part to this whole thing, is the numbers are continuing to go UP.  What can we do to drive this number down?  How can we prevent the rise of addicts?  How can we help reduce the number of overdoses?

Educate yourself, and your loved ones on addiction.  Most in society see people in recovery as a bad thing.  If someone is in recovery, pat them on the back and help them grow in their recovery.  The struggle someone in addiction has, is overbearing and can drive their life into shambles really quick.  Don’t shun upon someone that is in active addiction.  Be support and get them the help they need.  I’m not saying enable and empower them by feeding into it.  I’m simply saying be there to talk to them, direct them to the proper resources.  If you don’t have resources, educate yourself on them.  There are tons of local resources as well as online.  There are meetings you can attend, and there are several people that will be willing to just discuss different options that are out there.  We can’t continue to sweep things under the rug if we want to make a stand.  We must address the issue at hand and build upon the decisions we have to make.

The moral to the story is this:

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, OR CONTENT.  The early chapters can be interesting and want to turn you away, but the ending is where the good stuff is.  Read the whole book to find out what it is all about.  The journey may be a long one, but just like long term recovery, it is well worth the read!”


If you or a loved one has a substance abuse issue, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Grove Recovery Center.  We would love to be a resource to you, as well as help you with the treatment you are looking for. (225) 300-4850 or dblanton@thegrovela.org