The Edmond Sun

Addiction

May 19, 2009

Addiction hides in Edmond

EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a five-part series on the consequences of addiction and substance abuse.

EDMOND — At this moment, an unknown number of Edmond residents — a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a classmate — are suffering from an addiction or a substance abuse problem.

You might have an addiction or substance abuse problem and not even realize it.

Addiction and substance abuse harm both rich and poor, youth and adults, men and women and different ethnic groups. They harm families, education systems, businesses, cities, states and society as a whole.

Substance abuse is tied to crime, violence, accidents, child abuse and neglect.

During the coming week, The Edmond Sun will take an in-depth look at the consequences of addiction and substance abuse. The series will explore the affects of alcohol, drug use and gambling, and examine scientific advances and treatment options.

The consequences of addiction and substance abuse is a timely topic.

President Barack Obama’s recent trip to Mexico highlighted the violence linked to Mexican drug cartels fighting for control of smuggling routes, and the high demand for drugs in the United States.

Most marijuana available in Oklahoma is produced in Mexico, according to the U.S. Justice Department. And homegrown marijuana is more potent. It’s also very addictive, said Mark Woodward, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman.

Dr. Stan Ardoin, medical director for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, said substance abuse is considered by many to be the nation’s No. 1 public health concern.

“It takes a huge emotional toll on the families of substance abusers and the abuser himself,” Ardoin said. “Nearly everyone has someone close to them who has been negatively involved with substances.”

In Oklahoma, about 250,000 adults and more than 31,000 youth need substance abuse treatment, the ODMHSAS reports.

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