For people who are struggling with drug addiction – and the people who love them – not a day goes by when they aren't confronted with the harsh realities of chemical dependency. However, it often takes a high-profile death for this specter to be recognized by the general public. Recently on this blog, we referenced a gripping New York Times piece on the widespread use of heroin in small-town USA, an epidemic that has been largely overlooked. Since then, the passage of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has drawn further attention to the heart-wrenching nature of addiction.
In response to these events, Attorney General Eric Holder discussed heroin and opiate addiction in a video message this week. Holder detailed the measures the federal government has taken to crack down on heroin suppliers and dealers, and also noted the need for effective and accessible drug treatment centers.
"Addiction to heroin and other opiates […] is impacting the lives of Americans in every state, in every region and from every background," Holder stated. "It's clear that opiate addiction is an urgent – and growing – public health crisis."
Holder linked the rise in heroin abuse to a parallel surge in painkiller prescriptions, and this correlation has been emphasized in past research as well. This acknowledgment of widespread substance abuse, paired with a renewed commitment to prevention and treatment, are promising signs that the U.S. government is finally prioritizing addiction treatment.
If someone you love has been affected by drug addiction, every moment is an opportunity to finally ask for help. At Fairwinds Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida, we specialize in drug addiction treatment that combines medical and psychiatric intervention in an intimate, family-centric setting. We also stand out from other drug treatment centers in Florida by providing dual diagnosis care. Fairwinds Treatment Center founder Dr. El-Yousef is a nationally recognized leader in dual diagnosis treatment and addiction medicine.