Why We Need To Treat Addiction Like A Disease, Not A Crime

An interview with author David Sheff.

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Janina Kean is president and CEO of High Watch Recovery Center in Kent.
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Why We Need To Treat Addiction Like A Disease, Not A Crime
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Why We Need To Treat Addiction Like A Disease, Not A Crime
Today 8,100 people over the age of 12 in the U.S. will have their first drug experience.
 
Another 12,800 will try alcohol for the first time. In the U.S., 135,000 deaths per year are directly attributable to drugs, and that does not count the 100,000 or so other deaths in which drugs were a major contributing factor. 
 
Most measures of drug abuse and addiction suggests the problem is accelerating. So what are we doing about it? In his book "Clean," journalist David Sheff says we're doing all the wrong things. Our prevention models are not evidence-based and are ineffective. And our treatment system is not a system of all, but a patchwork of unproven methods. 
 
Today: addiction and the need to change how we deal with those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse.
 
You can join the conversation. E-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

  

Comments

EMAIL FROM MARIA:

Last week, during Colin’s show on addiction, we heard it mentioned that there is no place to go where someone can find appropriate resources. I am sure you both know about 2-1-1, but I just wanted to mention that if someone is in a crisis, addiction or otherwise, or if they just need to find resources, they can dial 2-1-1, anytime of the day or night. United Way 2-1-1 handles the full range of requests for health and human services resources and also handle crisis and suicide calls. We are open 24/7/365 and receive between 1,500 and 2,000 calls each day from Connecticut residents.

We have a myriad of resources related to addiction and mental health care.

Resources can also be found online at 211ct.org.

E-mail from Ann

Hi Colin,

Great show. Very curious if the panelists are aware of the connection between undiagnosed and/or poorly treated hypothyroidism, and adiction and mental health issues?

Many docs and health care practitioners (though very, very far from most) would test and treat low thyroid hormone if faced with these symptoms.

But... MOST do not: Standard testing is extremely poor (TSH levels are not reliable, and so many, many go undiagnosed with raging symptoms), and medication is synthetic T4, which needs to be converted to the active T3 in order to actually treat the hypothyroidism.

Accurate testing and sufficient meds (natural dessicated thyroid and synthetic T3) are available, just not widespread.

W/o treating thyroid, the underlying pathology remains, as do the symptoms.

Thanks,
Ann Hi Colin,

Great show. Very curious if the panelists are aware of the connection between undiagnosed and/or poorly treated hypothyroidism, and adiction and mental health issues?

Many docs and health care practitioners (though very, very far from most) would test and treat low thyroid hormone if faced with these symptoms.

But... MOST do not: Standard testing is extremely poor (TSH levels are not reliable, and so many, many go undiagnosed with raging symptoms), and medication is synthetic T4, which needs to be converted to the active T3 in order to actually treat the hypothyroidism.

Accurate testing and sufficient meds (natural dessicated thyroid and synthetic T3) are available, just not widespread.

W/o treating thyroid, the underlying pathology remains, as do the symptoms.

Thanks,
Ann