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Why do we need to recruit people to the workforce?

Addiction is the number one public health issue in the United States today. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Adminstration (SAMHSA), approximately 22.2 million people aged 12 or older needed treatment for an alcohol or illicit drug problem in 2003. Of those 22.2 million people – almost 10% of the US population - only 1.2 million received treatment for their disorder.

Addiction impacts every segment of society. In 2002, nearly 50,000 people died of drug or alcohol induced causes in the United States, not including those deaths related to substance use such as homicides, suicides, motor vehicle accidents, and fetal alcohol syndrome.1   Substance use and violence are also inextricably linked.  For example, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that adolescents aged 12 to 17 were almost twice as likely to engage in violent behavior if they had used an illicit drug as those who did not.2   Moreover, economically, alcohol and drug abuse costs every man, woman and child in the United States more than $1,000 per year in healthcare expenses, motor vehicle accidents, crime and other adverse outcomes.3

The good news is that addiction is treatable, and you can help by stimulating interest and motivating individuals to start on a career path in the addiction treatment and recovery services workforce.

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