With massive increases in the scale of people using cannabis and the epidemic use and misuse alcohol and prescription medications, substance abuse disorder has become a major public health concern around the world.
With statistics indicating that nearly twenty one million people over the age of twelve in the U.S.A alone meet the diagnostic criteria of having a substance use disorder. These figures seem alarming there is in fact nothing new or American specific about them apart from the fact that now the data exists. Throughout western society these and similar statistics can translate to most westernised countries around the globe and if not more so in South Africa re-enforcing the 1 in 10 people in modern society suffer with addiction.
With up to 1 in 10 people effectively needing help with a substance use disorder one would think that as a society we would have already begun to understand the process of treatment does not include ostracising and outcasting "drug addicts" and "alcoholics" as they are NOT "drug addicts" or "alcoholics" but very real and present members of our family.
Today we know that "addiction" has very little to do with the individuals inclinations or life choices and far more to do with their social upbringing and the dynamics of their responses to traumatic events that happen during the course of their lives. Some of these events being self induced and others not and regardless of the cause the incorrect responses. Recovery requires care and guidance and NOT isolation and further victimisation.