On October 4th, tens of thousands of people representing organizations and families from the prevention, treatment, criminal justice, health and recovery communities across the country will UNITE to Face Addiction on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
We are coming together to end the silence and let policymakers, the media, our friends, families, co-workers, and neighbors know that addiction is preventable and treatable that people can and do recover when they get the help they need.
At SAMHSA, we operate on the understanding that behavioral health is essential for overall well-being, prevention works, treatment is effective and people recover from mental and substance use disorders. SAMHSA is a small agency with a big mission–to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities–and we cannot do it alone. That's why we work with and through partners, like those involved in UNITE to Face Addiction, to advance the behavioral health of our nation.
More than 23 million Americans are in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. We are living proof that recovery is real and that it benefits individuals, their families and communities across the country.
However, in 2013, an estimated 22.7 million Americans were in need of treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol, yet only about 2.5 million people received treatment at a specialty facility. And, more than 350 lives are lost each day to alcohol and other drugs – that’s one every four minutes – more than who die from either homicides or motor vehicle accidents. This gap in service unnecessarily jeopardizes the health and wellness of people and causes a ripple effect in costs to American communities.
Where is the national outrage about this growing epidemic, the needless loss of life, and the costs to families and the economy? We must demand solutions. It’s time to speak up about the long-standing negative public attitudes and discriminatory public policies. For too long, a great majority of people affected by addiction or in recovery have remained silent. That is all about to change. History will surely be made when everyone comes together to demand solutions to the addiction crisis. We can no longer remain silent.
Get involved with UNITE to Face Addiction:
- Get event updates and information.
- Contact a local field organizer.
- Share your story about why you’re attending UNITE to Face Addiction.
- Spread the word and invite others to join you.
- Join the #UNITEtoFaceAddiction conversation on Twitter.