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Your lawyer. Your doctor. Your next door neighbor. Your child. Your partner. Your sibling. Your parent. Your favorite teacher. Your favorite check out clerk at the grocery store. Can you tell when someone is addicted to drugs? The caricature of these individuals might not illustrate what the average person would consider the average “addict”. Largely, society still holds a shameful, stigmatized view on addiction and who the people living with addiction are. Addicts are people on the street, hidden in the alleys, coming out by night. They’re visibly unhealthy, visibly mentally disturbed, and visibly addicted.

When a celebrity or a well-known individual dies of a drug overdose, there is shock and disbelief throughout the world. They had fame. They had fortune. They had everything they could want in life. They seemed so happy. They seemed so healthy. They were still producing music, going on tour, making movies, and taking vacations. In the same way that we would overlook addiction in someone familiar, we overlook addiction in someone we don’t really know. Missing addiction is easy when we fall for the belief that addiction is easy to see. Though some call it “high functioning addiction” the lack of total deterioration and disarray in someone’s life is not an indicator that addiction is missing. Addiction cannot always be seen and that is a problem because most people don’t know where to look for it.

Sadly, as new statistics reveal, addiction is everywhere. Many people are starting to realize that addiction is anyone, as well. In 2015 a record breaking number of people died from opioid overdose. The 2016 statistics are startling and more saddening than the numbers from the year before. Vox gave perhaps the most stark comparison. At the minimum, the number could be 59,000. More recent estimates have placed the number at 64,000 opioid overdose deaths in just one year. “In comparison, more than 58,200 US troops died in the Vietnam War between 1955 and 1975,” Vox writes, “and more than 4,500 have died so far in the Iraq War since 2003.” The Vietnam war lasted 20 years in its entirety. Possibly over 100,000 people have died due to opioid overdose in just two.

Educate yourself on the signs of drug addiction. If you believe your loved one might be addicted to drugs, contact a health professional immediately. If you are struggling with drug addiction, you are not alone. There is hope. There is help. Call The Guest House Ocala today at 1-855-483-7800 for information on our private residential treatment programs for traumas, addictions, and mental health.