Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction
Addiction is a complicated disease and getting out from under the terrifying grip of drug or alcohol abuse takes more than willpower or good intentions. Drugs and alcohol change the way the brain works, affecting normal perceptual, emotional and motivational processes in the brain.
We know addiction is expensive. Even moderate estimates put costs to the United States economy at more than $600 billion dollars annually. But these costs don’t even begin to take into account some of the more devastating consequences of drug and alcohol addiction: family disintegration, loss of employment, failure in school, failure to complete school, domestic violence, child abuse and other legal issues. Almost 75% of men and 83% of women who are currently incarcerated in America admit to substance abuse problems.
In spite of the most tragic and harmful consequences, many addicts will pursue their addiction into the gates of death or institutionalization. Even with every reason to stop using, addicts without intervention will often find the task impossible. When you ask them why they do it, if you catch them in a moment of rare honesty, they are likely to tell you the truth—that they have no more idea why than you do.
It’s a scary prospect, to be compelled to something so dangerous. Imagine how lives could be changed if these same men and women could grasp sobriety and hold to it for a period of time long enough to really change. It is not beyond possibility. We’ve had the incredible opportunity to be a part of making this a reality for residents of Puente House, and we want to share that success with you.