Addiction is a global problem and it needs a community solution. What part of the community needs to be involved? All of it.

It isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse and the cost is phenomenally high. In terms of dollars, human capital, relationships, innocents injured and damaged and on and on, the cost is more than we know.

We are weakened as a society and drained of resources that could be used to fuel growth, advancement, and the reestablishment of our national heritage as the world leader in virtually every area of living.

If the research is correct 1 in 3 people in the United States is negatively impacted by addiction. For the purpose of this discussion I include alcoholism as an addiction because it is. The 1 in 3 number is probably higher. From what I have seen it is more like 3 in 5.

Imagine a United States free from this blight, or at least the problem becoming minimal. It can happen but it requires a huge undertaking. A societal readjustment in thinking. Addicts aren’t hopeless, they can be not only helped, but can flourish to become some of the kindest and most helpful people just from gratitude for their freedom from addiction.

The community solution must include how to relate to these people, but it must also include a change in prevention understanding and education and a fundamental change in how we view both the active addict and the recovering addict.

In this series I am going to address my view of the changes that are needed. What are my qualifications? I have no degree in the field, but I think I have enough practical experience to merit an ear. With 22 years of active drug use beginning at the age of 10, 7 years as a pastor and counselor, and in recovery from addiction since 1987, and working with addicts wanting recovery; I have been an enabler, a codependent, husband of an addict stuck in the disease, father to addict children, and recovering children; I lost my oldest child who died at the age of 37 from his addiction and am raising his son, who was born addicted.

I have experienced pretty much every facet of addiction and live today in the serenity of my recovery and knowing that I have much I can give to those who care about how to treat this epidemic.

Since a community solution begins with our youth, I will begin this newsletter series with the first installment being focused on the prevention aspects of the solution.

I am not going to try to fit in all of the nuances required of this paradigm shift, although most are worthy of discussion, but I am going to seek to address the foundational changes that could result in dramatically changing the landscape of our present drug and alcohol blight if we can reach a critical mass of population that wants to have real and lasting change regarding this issue.

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