I am touched by the tragedy in Haiti and the outpouring of support to those affected. I must, however, take this moment and stand on a soap-box cause of my own.
The current death toll is reported at over 200,000 with 1.5 million rendered homeless. This is a tragic event, similar to the tsunami of 2004. I have and will continue to offer my financial contributions and prayers. I hope you will do the same.
My soap box is that in the United States alone, there are over 180,000 deaths annually due to alcohol and other drugs (not including drug and alcohol related traffic deaths). The estimate cost to Americans each year for illicit drug use and related crime is around $65 billion. There is numbness to this astounding reality. We don’t hear pleas from the White House to text for support, or celebrities and emergency response groups banding together to raise awareness and funds. What is more, how quickly would we respond if the technology and expertise to prevent the earthquake in Haiti had been available? Yet, much is known – both medically and socially - about the causes and treatment for addiction and those affected by it.
So, my pitch is that we must find a way of raising our awareness and response to a killer that surpasses the tragedy in Haiti every single year in the USA. At this point I would recommend a charity, program or group for you to donate to or support, but other than local programs – I’ just not aware of one good source to fund or support. So, search your local charities and give of your money and your time.
-Steps off soap box-
We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging…