Obama: Lower Income Addiction Issues are Important
Obama takes is attacking, among other things, suppressive legislation passed by the Bush administration which limited greatly access to health care for those in and slightly above the poverty level throughout the U.S. While the crux of this legislation deals with basic medical care it brings to the table expansion of public health care policy to assist those suffering from addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Today, many of those citizens with a poverty level household income also suffer from drug and alcohol use and abuse. Beginning with children, these poverty level citizens use drugs and alcohol in abundance and become a huge part of the nation’s overall burden of addicted public with the myriad of social problems and expenses that accompany addiction.
How does it start? Well here are some basic facts provided by the Office of Applied Studies:
- Based on SAMHSA’s 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 18% of youths age 12 to 17 (4.6 million) lived in families with annual incomes of less than $20,000 per year, 35% (8.8 million) in families with incomes between $20,000 to $49,999, 19% (4.8 million) in families with incomes between $50,000 to $74,999, and 27.6% in families with incomes of $75,000 or more.
- The lower the family income, the more likely that the youths had used cigarettes or an illegal drug in their lifetime. Youths in families with annual incomes of less than $20,000 were equally likely to have ever used alcohol or inhalants as those in families with incomes of $75,000 or more.
- Youths age 12 to 17 in families with annual incomes of less than $20,000 were more likely to have smoked cigarettes in their lifetime than those in families with incomes of $75,000 or more (35.4% vs. 25.2%).
- An estimated 15% of youths in families with annual incomes of less than $20,000 had ever used prescription-type drugs nonmedically compared with 11% of those in families with incomes of $75,000 or more.
Drugs and Poverty
Many of these children at the poverty level are targeted by drug dealers and drug trafficking organizations to sell their products as a source of income. Due to this fact there is an abundance of availability of illegal drugs in the communities of the lower income families. This does and will continue to make ridding these communities of the scourge of addiction nearly impossible without really strong support and funding from reform legislation available to the Obama administration. The study makes it crystal clear legislation is needed to increase the state level support for addiction treatment, addiction counseling and other related addiction recovery resources for those in need.
Obama must address this aspect of social reform as an integral part of his enthusiastic and publicly supported campaign to reverse our decline as a nation. Addiction, which affects 30 or more million U.S. citizens must be taken into consideration with any social reform policies since it is truly our nation’s #1 social issue.
Studies show that many individuals who have substance use problems do not receive treatment for those problems. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), formerly the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), asks persons aged 12 or older questions to determine whether they needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol problem within the past 12 months. “Any illicit drug” refers to marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, or prescription drugs used without a prescription. An individual was classified as needing treatment for a substance abuse problem if he or she met the criteria for dependence on or abuse of a substance or if they received specialty treatment for illicit drugs or alcohol in the past year.
Specialty treatment is delivered at drug or alcohol rehabilitation facilities (inpatient or outpatient), hospitals (inpatient only), and mental health centers. Specialty treatment excludes treatment at an emergency room, private doctor’s office, self-help group, prison or jail, or hospital as an outpatient.
- In 2002, 2.7 percent of persons aged 12 or older nationwide needed but did not receive treatment for an illicit drug problem, and 7.3 percent needed but did not receive treatment for an alcohol problem
- The States with the highest rates of individuals needing but not receiving substance abuse treatment were mainly in the West, and the States with the highest rates of individuals needing but not receiving alcohol treatment were mainly in the Midwest and West
- Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia, were among the States with the highest rates of illicit drug treatment need and alcohol treatment need
Millions are Affected
Millions of our poverty level children turned adults are becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. Of those who fall prey to addiction’s torturous grasps, the majority never receive the drug and alcohol rehabilitative treatment they need to rehabilitate themselves and become productive contributing members of our nation. We doom our own destiny by allowing this to continue to exist. Our faith is in Obama as the leader who will reform current social policy so that we can turn the tides on this tidal wave of destruction facing our nation.
addictionwatch.com Can Help Today!
If you or somebody you love and care about is being effected by drug addiction, or a drug induced environment due to lack of opportunity and a social class barrier, contact us at addictionwatch.com today. We are a team of treatment specialists that can help. Our belief is that everyone deserves to have a life free of drug and alcohol addiction. Take the first step today; call us or fill out the form on this page.