Former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, speaks in this short SAMHSA video about the need in America for ready access drug treatment. Many diseases and health conditions, including drug dependency, can be effectively managed through proper medications and best practice treatment interventions.
Drug addiction is a true brain disease. Drug use causes disruption in the brain's normal production of many natural chemicals including neurotransmitters essential to mood stability and emotional regulation.
Opioid addiction is not just about heroin or traditional "hard drugs". There has been a rapid increase in the use, and abuse, of prescription pain killers in America. Government estimates now put prescription pain pill abuse considerably ahead of heroin addiction. For more on this important topic, consider Dr. Jana Burson's book, Pain Pill Addiction: A Prescription for Hope.
Opioid dependency is a treatable illness. Addiction can be effectively managed. Detox, outpatient counseling, inpatient rehab, 12 Step support, and medication assisted treatment (such as methadone or suboxone) can all play a role in helping individuals to establish a healthy, drug-free life.