I’m learning a lot about addiction now that I’m working on a project for the Betty Ford Center Children’s Program. I’m learning about the impact alcohol and drug abuse have on kids when there is addiction in the home. I’m also learning that there is hope that a family can escape the clutches of addiction. Healing is possible with the right kind of help. According to the Surgeon General one in seven people in the U.S. will develop a substance disorder at some point but only one in ten will get help. That’s a lot of people suffering and a lot of children affected by the chaos.
“It’s time to change how we view addiction,” said Dr. Vivek H. Murthy in his report. “Not as a moral failing but as a chronic illness that must be treated with skill, urgency and compassion. The way we address this crisis is a test for America.” The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has viewed addiction through this lens since it’s inception. The Betty Ford Center Children’s Program helps kids ages 7 to 12 separate the disease from those that they love and understand it is not their fault when their grown ups are trapped by addiction. Children who are the first hurt do not have to be the last helped. Kate Snow with NBC Nightly News did a story recently to show the good the program does.