"I buried a child to drug addiction," Fiorina said.
In a presidential election coming up, the United States becomes a little more aware of an epidemic with Carly Fiorina opening up about her daughter's battle with addiction. A long time stigma making its way to the spotlight in order to have solutions, options and plans ready to be implemented and placed in our healthcare system. Her vulnerability is a gift to the over 20 million struggling with substance use disorders in the United States.
And these are the stories the public gets about substance use disorders, or commonly known as addiction or alcoholism: that your newspaper columnist or neighbor can provide adequate information to attend a very critical and much more complex issue than a one stop solution. The columnist uses an 'interventionist' (yes, she uses quotes) to offer an educated solution, one ending in 'would you let anyone else in your home do what she is doing?'. Where are the mental health professionals? Where are family dynamics explored? Why is it one of the most sough after topics yet such few professional support sought? Mental health is still a taboo, sought when things are breaking down and not a part of wellness nor lifestyle. In the substance use disorder field there is more attention placed in high levels of severity than prevention or education. Its time for a shift. Oh, and lets stop using the word addict and alcoholic, it perpetuates stigma and is a horrid self identification verbage.
Aaah, so perhaps there is some science behind the caffeine overload of many in early recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders? Definitely worth throwing in more research. Starbucks wanting to sponsor a double blind study in early addiction?
Beautiful Joe. Educating and sharing personal experiences comfort the questions, fears and doubts about mental health and substance use disorders: from anger to solutions. It also creates a shift from handicap to empowerment, both supporting governmental agencies and leaders to promote evidence based programs, social support models and existing agencies that are currently having positive outcomes. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, and usually 'a-ha' breakthroughs are rarely the norm, but rather the support of existing programs that require a little extra push, communicating it to the general public and having conversations on existing areas of growth. Thank you Joe, we need your story and may others who have a positive role in society continue to come up and share theirs.