Addiction Prevention Coalition News

Many people have politely asked this exact question in their own way as we at The Addiction Coalition have started this journey to eliminate drug and alcohol addiction in our area. They have a great thought process because it seems to be an insurmountable summit that seemingly no one will ever climb. They don’t see how we can affect change of one of the most destructive forces in our community.

My first thought is that many people don’t realize how big this problem really is.

Did you know that drugs are at the heart of most major issues in the US?

  • 25% of the Healthcare costs of our Great Generation stems from substance abuse.
  • 1.4 billion lbs of toxic waste is poured into our environment.
  • Substance abuse causes 93.75% of the Dropout Rate among high school students.
  • 57% of women contracting the AIDS virus have been linked strictly to IV drug use, not to mention high risk behavior that stems from the use.
  • 60% of teen suicide is linked to substance abuse.
  • Every 2.5 minutes a teen is arrested for involvement in a drug or alcohol related crime.
  • Over 90% of the murders in our community stem from drugs.
  • 25% of divorcees cite substance misuse as the reason for the divorce.

In our community, over 300,000 individuals are dealing with the battle of addiction personally or are watching it destroy their family. Just think when you stop at a traffic light, look around and someone in the cars next to or across from you is probably dealing with addiction.

It is amazing how we have been conditioned to run and hide the one thing which has permeated the very core of our community. Our friends and neighbors are silently suffering all around us.

For me the point is to help those who are hurting; to give comfort and support to individuals and families who are crying out for help. I want my family to live in a community that cares enough about each other that we can no longer ignore the pain and put it off for another day, but we will band together and stand firm.

We can reduce the hurt not only for the ones suffering now, and we can reduce the impact to the entire community long term. Every aspect of our community is affected by addiction from downtown to over the mountain, from church to synagogue to temple to mosque, from poor to rich, black to white, from blue collar to white collar, from old to young, and we have the ability together to change that. I believe that united as one, we as a community can overcome anything.

We have all heard that to eat a whale you have to take small bites. What would happen if we all came together, and each of us started taking a small bite? That is the whole idea behind the Addiction Coalition. Together as a community we can make a major impact on addiction in Birmingham by each of us taking a bite. If we all went out to our circles of influence, we could blanket Birmingham with the message of stopping addiction. One bite at a time. Will you pick up a fork?

Sandor Cheka
Executive Director
The Freedom Source

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