When we consider the nation in its entirety, it is estimated that more than 30 percent of adults in the United States abused alcohol in one way or another, according to recent government survey’s. That’s almost a third of the entire nation. That’s over 73 million people. Compare that with the amount of alcohol related deaths in the United States reaching to nearly 90,000 people last year alone, we start to view alcoholism as not so much of a disease anymore but rather as an epidemic. We view it as a veritable plague, taking the lives of people in staggering numbers year by year.
When we at Oregon Trail Recovery consider nationally recognized organizations such as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s (NIAAA) major initiatives, which “seek to address alcohol-related issues across the lifespan.”, we come to understand just what a formidable foe alcoholism is in this country, taking in mind the statistics mentioned previously. Part of NIAAA reaching their major initiative concerns itself with them first preventing children and adolescents from beginning and continuing to drink alcohol. The second part of their initiative is centered on offering effective intervention techniques which aim to bring people into treatment who are suffering from alcoholism.
This is where we can meet NIAAA halfway with their major initiative. It goes without saying that we are far passed the preventive stage when it comes to our clients who suffer from alcoholism, however, education in itself holds power to battling any form of addiction, including alcoholism. That is why we feel it is important for our clients and our staff to understand the extent that alcoholism effects this country. These figures and statistics, though staggering, should not be utilized to discourage or disheartened anyone, but rather to educate them and to know just what it is that we are up against.
Taking advice from Sun Tzu, the venerated Chinese general and author of the classic The Art of War, it is important for us to “Know thy enemy.” Organizations such as NIAAA supply us with knowledge, and we at Oregon Trail Recovery know no greater enemy than that of alcoholism and drug addiction in this country. That is why we arm ourselves with as much knowledge as we possibly can when it comes to the disease of addiction, not only to better our program but to better the men and women we help as well.
-John Dalton Williams. BA