Alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction constitute major health and safety concerns in the United States, with costs running into the billions of dollars annually for health care, related injuries and loss of life, property destruction, loss of productivity and more. Treatment is proven to be effective, but very few who need it have access to and receive care. Private and public funding for treatment remains meager. Families are devastated and children are at increased risk for their own addiction and mental health problems.
For people struggling with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders, physical safety and overall health risks are greater; the impairment of life skills is greater; and the chances for successful treatment are much less - all of which contribute to stigma.
This area of the Mental Health America website is designed to assist mental health advocates in increasing their understanding of key issues in the area of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. We are committed to providing accurate and timely materials and information about alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction to the advocates, consumer supporters and consumers in the mental health field.