Committing to Sobriety in 2020
The holidays are a time of celebration and merriment when we get together with family members, friends, and other loved ones. It’s also a time when coworkers gather in a more casual environment and socialize. The holidays are when we all come together and just appreciate each other more.
Unfortunately, the holidays can also be a time of hardship for some. The added focus on family relationships, on friendships, and on friendly relations at our workplaces and other groups can cause some people who struggle with alcohol abuse or drug use to have an even harder time of it. Newly sober people can feel stressed out when others around them are drinking alcohol at holiday office parties, family gatherings, and other seasonal events.
But let’s try to do something different this year. Let’s promote abstinence and sobriety in families, friendships, relationships, the workforce, and in our social groups in general. Let’s make 2020 the start of a new decade and a time when we all commit to sobriety.
What will it take to make 2020 different?
The State of Addiction in America – Why It’s Time to Make a Change
Drug and alcohol addiction is a severe problem in the United States. Some would say that this is the worst that addiction has ever been in this country.
And there might be some truth there. According to the findings of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health:
“In 2017, approximately 19.7 million people aged 12 or older had a SUD [substance use disorder] related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year…”“In 2017, approximately 19.7 million people aged 12 or older had a SUD [substance use disorder] related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year, including 14.5 million people who had an alcohol use disorder and 7.5 million people who had an illicit drug use disorder.”
The problem gets worse. Drug and alcohol addiction is not just an issue for individuals. It’s a problem for our economy as well. The National Safety Council offers valuable data on the very real, very harmful effect of alcohol misuse in the workplace. Quoting their data:
“An estimated $74 billion is lost every year in reduced work productivity due to alcohol consumption, from absences, reduced output, premature retirement or death, or reduced earning potential. Although small- and medium-sized businesses are less likely to have programs to combat alcohol use, they are more likely to employ workers who struggle with alcohol use than larger businesses.”
We also have to think about the people affected by addiction. These are the individuals who are sober but who have a family member or loved one who is hooked on drugs or alcohol. If almost 20 million Americans are addicted, a lot of whom have jobs and families, that means tens of millions of people are adversely affected by an addict.
Last but not least, there are the deaths caused every year by drug use and alcohol misuse. Such is, without a doubt, the most depressing, saddening aspect of the addiction nightmare. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:“More than 70,200 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids—a 2-fold increase in a decade. … Drug overdose deaths rose from 16,849 in 1999 to 70,237 in 2017.”
And according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
“An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco, and the second is poor diet and physical inactivity.”“An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco, and the second is poor diet and physical inactivity.”
We have a lot of reasons why we should try and make 2020 a better year and a better start to a brand new decade.
Committing to Change
The beginning of this article posed the question, “What will it take to make 2020 different?” 2020 will be a different and better year if we can help those who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction to find and enter residential drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers.
With nearly 20 million Americans struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol, 2020, and the years following, won’t be a whole lot different than the last decade unless we help these individuals get clean. And the best way for someone to break free from a drug habit or an alcohol addiction is with the help of a residential drug rehab center.
Furthermore, we have to work towards preventing others from falling into the grips of addiction. We have to educate people about the harmful nature of drugs and alcohol. We have to get people informed. That has to take place in schools, churches, community groups, workplaces, and homes. If people know the truth about drugs, they are far less likely to use drugs.
How Can You Make a Difference in 2020?
By its very nature, addiction is all but impossible for someone to break free from on their own. That’s why addicts need professional help. Residential drug treatment centers can provide that help.
However, those who struggle with substance abuse habits are not always ready and willing to get help. That’s why we all need to commit to addressing addiction in 2020 which can mean:
- Intervening on addicts who do not want help.
- Helping an addict find a qualified drug rehab center to go to.
- Helping a family member or loved one get reintegrated into life post-treatment.
- Entering ourselves into addiction treatment if we need it.
- Helping other family members who have been adversely affected by a loved one’s addiction.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug abuse or alcohol misuse this holiday season, make sure residential drug treatment is made available as soon as possible. It’s the only way we are going to reverse the vicious cycle of mass addiction that this country has gotten itself into.