|Source: DrugFacts: Nationwide Trend, National Institute on Drug Abuse (Retrieved Feb. 23, 2016)|
It seems as though all the news has revolved around the Mexican drug Lord, El Chapo, in recent days because this is one slippery criminal that seems to keep escaping from custody. Having trafficked drugs across the border for more than 20 years, all eyes are set on keeping this infamous criminal from breaking free to continue his nefarious activities. Unfortunately, El Chapo is really a very small fish in a huge pond that comprises illicit drug use and corresponding expense in the United States. According to Per Wickstrom, Founder of the South Bend Indiana Drug Rehab, Choices Recovery, is focusing on how to curb illicit drug use in the United States which will solve a number of problems in itself.
The Actual Cost of Illicit Drug Use
In the nation’s heartland, South Bend Indiana is just one community that experiences the high cost of drug addiction just like any other major metropolitan area throughout the nation. Their numbers are no different than those statistics coming out of Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles or even Seattle where suicides reign supreme. According to national statistics on drug abuse, illicit drug use costs the nation more than half a trillion dollars a year when the cost of healthcare is factored in. These statistics also include such things as tobacco and alcohol in addition to illicit drugs like meth, heroin, cocaine and prescription drugs that are abused.
Treat the Cause for Success
According to Per Wickstrom, altogether too much money is being spent on the war against drugs when the underlying root causes should be addressed first. Why not funnel those funds into programs that seek to find what causes addictions on a psychological or socio-economic basis first so that fewer people will act on the proclivity towards addictions. If there is no market, or at least a drastically reduced market, for illicit drug use, then efforts can be refocused on helping addicts to live healthier choices once clean from the effects of the substances they have been taking to help themselves ‘feel good’ or better about themselves.
The News Isn’t All Bad
It has long been wondered why the news never seems to report positive happenings and only focuses on crimes being committed to ‘sell papers.’ Although most newspapers are in digital format today, reporters still seem to follow stories that report crimes and other horrific events. Even so, the news isn’t all bad as the team at Choices Recovery is happy to report. Addicts are being successfully treated day after day, which is encouraging for the future in a world that has too often seemed morbid and dismal. Wickstrom’s team seeks to answer the ‘whys’ not the ‘hows’ in order to get to the crux of the problem. It isn’t enough to recognize an addiction but the client must seek out the truth as to what triggers substance abuse in order to completely eradicate that need from his or her system.
No, the news isn’t all bad but the United States has a long way to go before it can be said that the war on drugs has been won. Unfortunately the powers that be are focused on exterior problems rather than spending money to seek answers from within. The good news is that this is just what Wickstrom’s teams are doing from multiple locations and are realizing successes day in and day out, one client at a time. This is the kind of news we should be reading in the hopes of eliminating the problem once and for all. It’s something to hope for and something Wickstrom believes can one day be a reality.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect those of EconMatters.
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