It's easy to think 'addiction doesn't affect me.' But it's pretty hard to prove it. The fact is addiction effects us all. Let's take a look at Pontotoc County.
A 2010 survey of Pontotoc County high school seniors shows frequent use of marijuana is increasing. In 2010, 56% of Pontotoc County 10th graders report using alcohol and 22% report having smoked marijuana. Binge drinking within the past 2 weeks by Pontotoc County 8th graders is higher than statewide peers. A greater percentage of Pontotoc County 6th grade students report using inhalants than reported by their peers throughout the state.
Still wondering how addiction affects you… Let’s talk about how addiction affects tax payers. According to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services, Substance abuse is the number one public health problem in Oklahoma and nationally. The economic cost is staggering, estimated at nearly $7 billion annually in Oklahoma and $414 billion nationwide. These costs are for expenses related to health care, public safety, social services, costs to business, and property loss. Another $5 billion in costs is related to lost productivity. Considering these statistics, did you know that incarceration costs about $19,000 per inmate while treatment costs about $5,400 per person? Or that the re-arrest rate for inmates is 54% while it is only 23.5% for Drug Court participants?
Addiction affects us all. And we can all do something about it. Come join us at the next Coalition meeting & get involved!
By Holli Witherington, Executive Director, M.Ed., LADC, LPC, Brandon Whitten Institute for Addiction & Recovery at ECU
Step 1. We admit that we are all affected by addiction and recognize it is a growing concern in our community.
Step 2. Came to believe that an effort greater than any one of us alone is needed to restore us to a healthier way of living.
Step 3. Made a decision to accept help from the community and from each other to promote recovery from addiction in our community.
Step 4. Made an honest and thorough inventory (assessment) of our community needs relating to addiction.
Step 5. Admitted to the community, ourselves and others the exact nature of our community needs.
Step 6. Were entirely ready to have a collaborative community effort address these needs.
Step 7. Humbly asked for help from our community as a whole.
Step 8. Made a list of the consequences that we face as a community due to any previous inaction or denial and became willing to work on these issues.
Step 9. Directly addressed these consequences as a community whenever possible, unless to do so would cause harm.
Step 10. Continued to take thorough community inventories/assessments and promptly address community needs.
Step 11. Sought through community cohesiveness and the spirit of unity to improve our conscious contact with all community members, seeking only actions for the good of our community and the ability to carry those actions out.
Step 12. Having had a community change & awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other communities and practice these principles in all of our affairs.
These 12 steps have been adapted from the original 12 steps of Alcholics Anonymous to address needs & issues that communities face in relation to addiction. Any adaptation or similarity is not to be compared to AA, nor is it endorsed by AA. Contact author Holli Witherington email@example.com with any comments, questions or concerns.