Is the Economy Driving People to Drink?

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Florida Drug Rehab sees increases in people who need treatment with every downturn the economy takes.

Mitchell E. Wallick, Ph.D. CAP ICADC FABFCE, Executive Director of C.A.R.E. Addiction Recovery has observed an increase in the number of people who call the Florida drug rehab facility seeking treatment that has corresponded with the downward declines in incomes, increased mortgage foreclosures and other signs of economic distress.

Economic downturns traditionally lead to increased substance abuse, compulsive gambling and other addictive behaviors, and that trend is emerging again. "As people face the devastating disasters of unemployment, increased expenses, stress of job uncertainty, etc., it is not surprising that they turn to addictive behaviors to bury their situational depression and anxiety and escape from the world which appears bleak, boring and without hope," says Wallick.

Unfortunately, the poor economy also exerts a negative effect on the ability to fund alcohol detox programs and drug rehab programs, creating a double-edged sword of increased demand and diminishing resources. Public addiction treatment programs facing reduced funding have fewer slots. Private programs faced by increasing gas, food and other costs are simultaneously raising prices. Many who were previously covered by insurance, lacking the funds for COBRA after unemployment find themselves with the impossible situation of paying for rehabilitation. For many drug rehab programs, the economy is forcing cutbacks in services and even closings because of rapidly declining client census.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use & Health released last month, illicit use of prescription drugs has increased since 2002 and drug use has increased among Baby Boomers.

Though CARE has always been priced at the moderate end of the spectrum for long-term drug rehab centers, the economy has prompted further action to aid those with financial problems. Wallick has created a charitable organization, CARE's Helps, whose mission is to provide financial support for people seeking addiction treatment at the C.A.R.E. Florida rehab program when family circumstances preclude full payment. A sliding payment scale, is another attempt to ease the burden on families with limited funds, facilitated by CARE's Helps.

C.A.R.E. Addiction Resources is located in North Palm Beach, Florida. Founded by Dr. Mitch Wallick who holds with Ph.D.'s in Counseling and Addictions, C.A.R.E. employs holistic healing modalities and endeavors to treat the underlying psychological factors that predicate addictions. In addition to drug rehabilitation and alcohol detox, C.A.R.E. has had enormous success applying these same principles to those suffering from eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, or over eating as well as gambling addiction, sex addiction and even Internet addiction.

C.A.R.E.S. HELPS is a charitable organization launched by C.A.R.E. Addiction Resources to provide partial funding for treatment, housing, counseling and holistic therapies to deserving individuals and their families in need of addiction treatment. C.A.R.E.S HELPS maintains 501(c) (3) tax exempt organization.

SAMHSA, an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services, is the Federal Government's lead agency for improving the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment, and mental health services in the United States.

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