ALL ARE WELCOME.
By Jami DeLorenzo
1 in 3 people are touched by someone in their life who suffer from the chronic disease known as addiction.
Addiction is not prejudice, it finds all ages, it finds all races; it can conquer anyone. Addiction IS a CHRONIC disease, where relapse may occur. Like other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, the disease of addiction must be monitored and managed over a person's lifetime.
Complicated matters such as a lack of proper treatment, a lack of adequate treatment facilities, a lack of length in treatment, and a lack of insurance policies to recognize what adequate treatment is, are just a few of the many complicated matters that are fueling the war on addiction.
Families are scared. Addicts are either in denial or are ashamed. According to statistics and recent sutdies publiched on www.drugfree.org:
- there are over 23 million Americans who live in recovery
- there are at least 11 million teens and young adults who currently struggle with addiction
- more than 38% of adults have a friend or loved one who are recovering from addiction
Such a vast portion of our population is affected by this disease, however ignorance and shallow judgement on top of the lack of proper treatment are preventing families from getting on the right path.
On the "spectrum", there are in fact people who are currently able to function very highly in society or even in school WHILE USING drugs. These individuals may even hold a job or even more than one job, and their families may not even suspect a drug problem at this point in time. There are also individuals whose families have become aware of a drug problem, but the addicts themselves are in denial or resistant to change their lifestyle. Such family members may be feeling helpless and frustrated and their level of worry is beyond words. Toward the other end of the spectrum, there are individuals who are stealing and committing crimes to appease their disease. These individuals can come from good families or even wealthy neighborhoods. They may live next door, or be related to someone you work with. No matter how you view it, or where on the spectrum a loved one may be, dealing with this disease is COMPLICATED, FRUSTRATING and the disease affects EVERYONE involved, not just those that are addicted.
Jami, Shelly and John understand these issues and concerns. They have lived through these battles, are still fighting some of these battles, and they are here to help answer your questions, as well as point you in the right direction.
1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness.
Mental illness comes in many forms, and exists on various levels. Some mental illnesses are more visible than others, just as some levels of addiction are more visible than others. MANY individuals suffer from a COMBINATION of BOTH addiction AND mental illness. Again, the fact that family members or loved ones suffer from such diseases is not a usual topic of conversation that is brought up on lunch breaks or Friday happy hours. While a co-worker, friend or neighbor may mention the worry and hardship involved in supporting a family member or loved one through cancer treatments or joint replacement, it is not often that you hear about people in our lives facing addiction and/or mental illness. If 1 in 4 people have someone in their life affected by addiction, and 1 in 4 people have some form of mental illness, think about how many people in YOUR life are living without treatment, dealing with a loved one who is ill, and/or suffering in silence because of the fear of being judged or shamed.
One in four adults−approximately 61.5 million Americans−experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 17−about 13.6 million−live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.
Approximately 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 experience severe mental disorders in a given year. For ages 8 to 15, the estimate is 13 percent.
Approximately 1.1 percent of American adults—about 2.4 million people—live with schizophrenia.
Approximately 2.6 percent of American adults−.1 million people−live with bipolar disorder.
Approximately 6.7 percent of American adults−bout 14.8 million people−ive with major depression.
About 9.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders.Approximately 26 percent of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46 percent live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.Approximately 20 percent of state prisoners and 21 percent of local jail prisoners have "a recent history" of a mental health condition.Seventy percent of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20 percent live with a severe mental illness.
Dutchess AAPS is committed to helping educate and support the public regarding all issues and topics related to addiction. We are parents, residents of Dutchess County, and survivors of recent real life stories related to all of the above. We volunteer our time daily to help fellow residents in Dutchess County deal with real life situations that we ourselves have faced. Please contact us for more information. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming support groups, forums or workshops.
WELCOME parents.....WELCOME SPOUSES.... welcome to those who suffer from addiction... WELCOME FRIENDS... WELCOME SIBLINGS....welcome professionals in the community...
You are NOT alone.
*Stay tuned for our next community forum that will be held in the fall!