Serenity Recovery Centers began as “Serenity House” in 1971 when a group of recovering alcoholics founded a safe haven for alcoholics seeking treatment. In the 40 years since our inception, we have never wavered in that initial commitment to offer counseling, education and advocacy for individuals and families in our community who are struggling with addiction.
Serenity Recovery Centers offers hope to men and women and their families suffering from the devastating consequences of addiction.
This year, more than 26 million Americans are struggling with alcohol and drugs. Of those 26 million, only 3 million will receive treatment. The number one reason the other 23 million will not receive treatment is because they cannot afford it. (Department of Mental Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), Office of Applied Studies (OAS) 2007 Report.)
So what happens to individuals with untreated alcohol and drug abuse? Some will deteriorate in a downward spiral — losing health, jobs, and destroying families along the way. Some will fall into other health care problems and hospitalizations, end up on the streets, commit crimes or go to jail. Others, in desperation, take their lives.
But individuals with drug and alcohol problems are not the only casualties. Their families, friends and communities, in fact, society as a whole, also suffer greatly.
The annual economic cost of untreated addiction in the U.S. is $328 billion — and the cost savings when adequate treatment is provided is $7 to $12 for every $1 spent.
Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction cuts drug use in half, reduces criminal activity up to 80 percent, increases employment, decreases homelessness, improves physical and mental health, reduces medical costs and reduces risky sexual behavior.
Treatment also produces major savings to the individual and society in the form of significant drops in interpersonal conflicts, improvements in workplace productivity, and reduction in drug-related accidents.
Without proper treatment, the prognosis is poor for those suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction: the body deteriorates, the mind is damaged, and the spirit is crushed. Identification and treatment of the disease are critical to the process of arresting and beginning to mend the damage wrought by addiction.
The good news is that treatment from drug and alcohol addiction is available and effective. Qualified, accredited and dedicated professionals at treatment programs like Serenity Recovery Centers — that meet rigorous state standards are the backbone of the public health response needed to address this nationwide epidemic.