Drug addiction impacts millions of Americans and their families. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, roughly 20 million Americans battled addictions in 2017.
Those numbers outline a harsh reality: addictions affect all of us. Whether it’s a friend or coworker, or in my case, a family member, nearly all of us have been impacted by it in one way or another.
Addiction doesn’t stop with the individual affected, it has a ripple effect that touches every aspect of one’s life. Relationships fall apart and stable housing and jobs are lost.
In my family member’s case, they were fortunate to have access to treatment options through private insurance. Like so many battling an addiction to alcohol or drugs, they had tried to get sober numerous times. Luckily, their last effort has been successful and they now count 16 years of sobriety.
But what about the millions of Americans who don’t have the same privilege and access? As things stand, for the vast majority of people, their addictions are treated as a crime instead of a medical emergency and illness.
This November, Oregonians will have the opportunity to make a change by voting yes on Measure 110.