As Ebola Panic Dies Down, Let’s Talk about Addiction
A number of new polls show that Americans are less worried about an Ebola outbreak than they were last week! Three cheers for doctors and first-world medical care!
According to Bloomburg Politics, 69% of Americans were “somewhat or very concerned” about Ebola in early October. As of October 29th, that number dropped to 61%.
Also, according to Fox News, a mere 59% of Americans believe Ebola will spread throughout the country. Again, three cheers for medicine!
What does Ebola have to do with Sobriety For Women? I’m asking myself the same question. Well, according to a controversial Huffington Post article, we should be talking about the addiction epidemic, not the Ebola epidemic.
The Real Cost of Addiction
According to Huffington Post, and more importantly the C.D.C., the scope of addiction is staggering. Really, some of these numbers are unbelievable.
Consider the following facts and statistics:
- In 2012, overdoses were the leading cause of death injury. In fact, overdoses killed more people in the twenty-five to sixty-four age bracket than car accidents.
- In 2012 alone, 41,502 people died after overdosing. Over half of these deaths were due to pharmaceutical overdoses (oxycodone, Vicodin, Xanax, etc.).
- There’s been a 117% increase in overdose deaths from 1999 to 2012.
Okay, those are some alarming numbers! More important than shocking numbers, though, is the human cost of addiction.
What if it was YOUR Loved One?
That’s a scary question. I don’t particularly want to think about what my family would have gone through if I’d died as a result of my overdoses.
It’s important to ask though. It’s questions like “what if my sister overdosed and died?” and “what if my daughter overdosed and died?”, that are going to change the conversation about addiction. Remember, we can all change! We can also all change the conversation!
Right now, the public generally views addiction as an unpleasant and misunderstood disease. That last part’s important– a misunderstood disease. While addiction is undoubtedly a disease, this way of thinking tends to dehumanize its victims.
Women in Recovery are More Than Statistics
By adding a personal touch to addiction stories, by adding a face and a smile, the public won’t be able to dehumanize addiction any longer.
Women in recovery aren’t merely statistics. We’re not numbers to be spewed out like an afterschool special. We’re people! We’re daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, friends, girlfriends, wives, and so much more! We’re spiritual warriors fighting each day to make the world better!
We’re the human face of addiction. Reminding the world that we’re sober addicts and alcoholics (and so much more!) is what’s going to make the addiction dialogue shift.
Our lives and our stories are going to change the conversation from the Ebola epidemic, to the addiction epidemic, to the blessings of recovery!