National Addiction Treatment Week is upon us and presents an amazing opportunity to help shed some light on the difficult topic of addiction in the United States. The week serves to identify the difference between the number of individuals who are in need of addiction recovery services and the number of medical professionals able to help treat these individuals.
Each year, the initiative hosts several events in order to educate the population about what causes addiction, what it looks like and what the journey from addiction to sobriety looks like. The goal is to raise awareness in hopes that the general view of addiction can be changed to that of hope for a future where addiction treatment is readily available.
2021’s ARC Highlighted Event
The University of Arizona Addiction Medicine Fellowship and the University of Arizona Health Sciences Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center have partnered up to present NFL legend Vance Johnson at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. The event will be held on October 21 at 5:30 pm in the Tucson Kiewit Auditorium.
Vance Johnson is a University of Arizona alumni where he played as starting running back for four seasons with the offseason seeing him as an NCAA champion long jumper. After his collegiate career, he went on to take the Denver Broncos to three different Super Bowl games in the 80’s. Super Bowl XXI saw Vance achieve 121 passing yards along with a touchdown to add to an already impressive career total.
After his record-setting NFL career ended, Vance began working on his fight with addiction as it began to consume more of his life over the years. In 2013, he reached his goal of total sobriety and began speaking as an advocate for those seeking addiction treatment and spends time each month speaking to alumni from America’s Rehab Campuses.
Why National Addiction Treatment Week Is So Important
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, is a leading authority on addiction data and research. In 2019 they recorded 21.6 million people aged 12 or older that were in need of substance abuse treatment with only 4.2 million receiving treatment, 2.6 million of which received treatment from a specialty facility.
These numbers cover multiple substances which include both illicit drugs and alcohol. There are close to 90,000 deaths each year from alcohol-related causes alone. In order to help bring these numbers down, organizations such as ARC participate in furthering education on the resources available for addiction treatment.
When looking solely at those who made the decision to seek an assessment for treatment, less than 1/3 of study participants received an appointment within 24 hours. 40% waited three to seven days and 12% waited over a week.
Whether you or someone you love is battling addiction to drugs or alcohol, we hope you’ll join us in attending Vance Johnson’s event at the University of Arizona College of Medicine this Thursday, October 21 at 5:30 pm. If you have any questions about the event or treatment, please feel free to give us a call.