WV’s Prescription Addiction …Novus Medical Detox Facility of Pasco County, Florida Director referred to West Virginia’s appalling prescription drug abuse, addiction and death… Learn more.
Ebola deaths a drop in the bucket compared to enormous loss of life from drugs and alcohol
When it comes to the virulent, deadly ebola epidemic that’s dominating the news these days, we’re just as nervous as everyone else. No vaccine, no cure, and anywhere from 50 to 90 percent fatality rates.
We’re glad the White House is taking the ebola threat seriously by creating a task force to help head off an ebola epidemic getting a foothold here in America. President Obama has hand-picked Ron Klain, the former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, to “coordinate the national response to the deadly virus.”
But because of what we do – help people overcome drug and alcohol dependence – we know how widespread and deadly addiction has become in America. By anyone’s definition it’s an epidemic. And we can’t help thinking that more could and should be done to deal with it too.
It may upset some people for us to say this, and it certainly wouldn’t be popular coming from any politicians or health officials these days, but statistically, the death count from the current and dreaded ebola epidemic in West Africa is actually trivial compared to the death count from drug and alcohol abuse, both here and around the world.
The hard and true facts are this: More Americans die every month from drug and alcohol related mishaps than have died from the current, dreaded ebola virus epidemic sweeping West Africa. They’ve been dying here in the US at that rate for decades. And it’s not really getting any better.
Here are some numbers to compare – and they’re rather shocking:
EBOLA (current outbreak, as of mid-October 2014)
- Deaths in Africa: 4,500 (estimated)
- Deaths in US: 2 (confirmed)
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL (for 2010, latest figures available)
- Alcohol-related deaths in US: 25,692
- Drug overdose deaths in US (not including alcohol): 38,329
- Pharmaceutical drugs: 22,134
- Pharmaceutical opioid analgesics: 16,651
- Illicit drug use: 17,000 (may include some of above events)
- World-wide drug related mortality (from UN): 247,000
Clearly, with drugs and alcohol addiction and deaths, we are dealing with an epidemic of such colossal proportions, one that has been going on for so long, that most people today just don’t “get it.” It’s too big, it’s been around too long, it’s too familiar – whatever – most people have become kind of numb to the whole thing.
Unfortunately, that includes many lawmakers, the people we elect to guide us and protect us, and allocate sufficient resources to head off dangerous threats to public health. And of course, that has to include the drug and alcohol epidemic that is claiming over 75,000 American lives every year.
When it comes to choosing its victims indiscriminately, drug and alcohol addiction isn’t too much different from most viruses including ebola. It strikes people of all ages in all walks of life, and like a virus, it spreads like a contagion – especially among our young people.
Yes, ebola (haemorrhagic fever) is a terrifying disease. It’s fatal in an average of 75 percent of cases. It spreads very quickly and there’s no effective cure or preventive vaccine. So we strongly support all necessary resources to prevent an actual ebola epidemic here at home.
And let’s make this perfectly clear: When we compare the figures for drug and alcohol fatalities to the ebola epidemic, we certainly aren’t suggesting that we shouldn’t be concerned about the ebola threat. Fact is, we’re just as worried as you are that more cases might pop up here in the US before we finally knock it out. And that’s plenty scary indeed.
What we are saying, however, is that the ebola epidemic threat is a big reminder of a deadly epidemic already here in America, and it needs more attention and more resources to deal with it. We’re saying that our lawmakers and public health officials should step back for a minute and take a look at what we consider the Number One public health epidemic in this country – drug and alcohol addiction.
There have been 2 deaths in the US from ebola. Yet in that same two or three weeks that it took those two very unfortunate people to succumb to ebola, roughly 4,300 Americans died from drug and alcohol related incidents – overdoses, accidents, murders, suicides – the list goes on.
And sadly, tragically, most of them died needlessly, because timely and effective intervention saves lives threatened by addiction. We could have saved them if the right resources – proven workable resources like medical, counseling, legal – had been available and active at the right time.
When you add to these needless deaths the enormous financial, emotional, familial and societal costs, the need for more and better prevention and treatment resources becomes even more evident.
Here at Novus, we certainly aren’t political activists – anything but. We’re a team of highly trained medical detox specialists who help people break free from dependence on drugs and alcohol. And we do that by using the safest, most comfortable and most modern medically-supervised detox protocols available anywhere. The only ‘movement’ we’re involved in is our own dedicated campaign to help set our patients free. But we always encourage friends and patients to do whatever they can to help spread the word – detox and treatment before it’s too late.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol dependence, don’t hesitate to call Novus and get all your questions answered about drug and alcohol detox. We’re always here to help.
Recent Blog Articles
Nick Vujicic: From No Limbs To…Nick Vujicic (pronounced Voo-yee-chich) was born 28 years ago in Melbourne, Australia, the first child of a young Serbian couple. When his father,… Learn more.
Who Should Come to Novus, an i…We have received a number of requests for an explanation of the types of withdrawal situations that are best handled at an inpatient facility like… Learn more.
Find Out If Your Insurance Will Pay
- Assessment: Do I Need Detox or Rehab?
- What is Detox?
- How Long Will It Take?
- What Will It Cost?
- Symptoms of Withdrawal
- Our Facility
- Contact Us