Millions struggle, lack access to substance abuse treatment

by Jesse Muhammad for The Final Call Newspaper

HOUSTON (FinalCall.com) - In September, the country observed National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery month. The observance highlights the societal benefits of substance abuse treatment, the contributions of treatment providers and promotes the message that recovery from substance abuse in all its forms is not impossible.

Tim Jones once saw overcoming his addiction as insurmountable after getting addicted to cigarettes and then marijuana in the 9th grade. That was the beginning of 30 years of his life that included alcohol abuse, a divorce, unemployment, declining health and even incarceration.

I could not beat my addiction. I went into treatment several times and relapsed every time,” says Mr. Jones, 44.

In April, he admitted himself into the Cheyenne Rehabilitation Center in Northeast Houston. This was his seventh time entering a center to receive assistance but Mr. Jones admits during the first six times he was not truly seeking reform.

“I was pretty much just letting one drug go for another drug and convincing myself that I was making progress. But I wasn't being real with myself,” says Mr. Jones.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of National Recovery Month. Significant challenges are ahead as it relates to drug reform in America, according to results from an annual survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Health Dept.

There is a vast disparity between the number of addicts needing specialized treatment for a substance abuse issue and the number who actually get the help they need. According to the 2008 administration survey, 23.1 million Americans need specialized treatment for a substance abuse problem, but only approximately 10 percent, or just 2.3 million people, get help.

Read the full article now at: http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/NationalNews

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