Jim Sturdevant

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Jim Sturdevant
Posted almost 2 years ago
New health care law will improve access to care for addiction, but treatment system is ineffective and broken.
David -- I agree. The new health care law will only lead to a bigger train wreck. Why do many people with addiction return to "treatment" multiple times? Why do 75% of all people with the disease never get help? Why can't a primary care clinic help people with this disease when it can help people with almost any other chronic disease? The solution: all community sectors, especially health care, employers, and insurance companies, must recognize the chronic nature of addiction. Systems, institutions, and people must act accordingly.
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Jim Sturdevant
Posted almost 2 years ago
What would our communities look like if we actually treated and understood addiction like the chronic disease that it is?
Hi Paul. Yes, addiction is a wider problem than the intention of my post. I am discussing only drug and alcohol addiction, which affects about 23 million Americans and costs our country about $350 billion annually. I don't have the stats, demographics, and costs of problems associated with other forms of addiction like the ones you mention. But I'd like to have them. Know of any good sources? I am also intrigued by your notion that problems of addiction are more severe and/or more prevalent now than in the past--and if so, why?
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Jim Sturdevant
Posted almost 2 years ago
What would our communities look like if we actually treated and understood addiction like the chronic disease that it is?
Greg, thanks for commenting. Early symptoms of this chronic disease can be increased or abnormal use of substances. Increased internal and external negative effects associated with "using," include worsening physical health, interactions with the criminal justice system, problems at work, relationship issues, and financial problems. Included is a general detachment from things that normally bring a person happiness (similar to depression). Being a mind, body, and spirit disease, it can also claim a detachment from a person's spiritual connection or understanding, whatever that is for that person. It can be dependence on a substance in order to cope with normal life events. Obviously, these "symptom" increase in magnitude the further along the disease progresses.