On June 13 Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic was very pleased to join the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus for a briefing on addiction and substance abuse, and to share our perspective as treatment provider.
The goal of this briefing was to stop the devastating trends regarding alcohol and substance abuse in the United States by bringing awareness to this cause and introducing the many ways people around the country are trying to reduce the spread of alcohol and drug dependency.
After an introductory statement by the Congressmen Paul Tonko and John Fleming, George Knoerlein, Director of Clinical Operations at Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic, did a remarkable job speaking about substance abuse issues and lessening the stigma of addiction.
“Like you, I know treatment works. It is simply a matter of providing people with access to the services they need to achieve and sustain recovery. Of course, that can be much easier said than done – and in fact there’s still much that needs to be done in order to meet that goal. ” said George, “For one, we need to create awareness that substance abuse treatment and recovery services are a good investment – a much more common sense investment than housing individuals with behavioral health issues in our nation’s prisons, or caring for them on a revolving door basis in hospital emergency rooms or homeless shelters. We also need to create awareness that addiction is not a character flaw, but a chronic disease that with evidence-based treatment and the proper support can be successfully managed, similar to the way other chronic health issues are.”
He then relayed the case stories of an adolescent, a mother and her daughter, and a veteran, who got their lives back after completing successfully our treatment programs at Phoenix House.
The attendees were also addressed by another expert, Robert Morrison, Executive Director at the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), who showed the internal structure of NASADAD, and how addiction is prevalent and costly in the United States. The speakers’ presentations were followed by a Questions and Answers session.
Congressional Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus was founded in 2004 to serve as a groundbreaking forum to inform, educate and raise awareness about addiction and recovery and to increase legislative support for expanding access to care for people with addiction. The partisan caucus brings members of the House and their staffs together to focus attention on their shared interested for policies that will support addiction and recovery. Congressman Tim Ryan and John Fleming, M.D., are currently co-chairs of the Caucus.
A special thank you to Congressmen Tim Ryan, John Fleming, and Paul Tonko for hosting this briefing and for the opportunity to brief the Caucus about the crucial importance of substance abuse issues.
Every day, Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic helps at-risk youth who are suffering from addiction in Virginia, Maryland and DC. Find out more about our programs and services, or call us today at: 1 888 671 9392.