GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The U.S. Surgeon General is stepping in to address the ongoing substance abuse epidemic in the country.
The statistics are shocking and people are working to lower them in the east.
“Drug addiction is a hard beast to tame,” said Chris Jenkins who experienced the hardships of substance abuse firsthand. His son is no longer here after battling addiction to prescription medications. “Part of the problem and it was true for our son is that the person who’s abusing drugs doesn’t know or won’t admit that it’s a problem that needs help in the first place.”
It’s help that doesn’t come for many.
The U.S. Surgeon General released a report outlining alarming statistics of substance abuse in America. 20.8 million people struggle with the problem. Yet only 1 in 10 Americans get the treatment they need.
The report said high costs and the lack of screening for addictions are two main reasons why only 10 percent get help.
“You can walk in the door and we will best serve you as soon as we can,” said Clay Roberson, program supervisor, Port Outpatient Clinic.
Facilities in the area are working to treat more people.
“A lot of folks don’t understand that if you don’t have insurance or income and those sort of things, Trillium Health Resources kind of funnels money and dollars along with the state to help folks utilize services,” said Roberson.
Nearly one in seven Americans will face substance abuse in their lifetime. Education on prevention and knowing where to seek treatment could make all the difference.
“Don’t ever give up,” said Jenkins. “Keep praying for the one you love, and keep trying everything you can think of to do to get them help.”
In Pitt County, there are several services those suffering with substance abuse can utilize; the Pitt County Coalition on Substance Abuse and the Walter B. Jones Center provide assistance and treatment.