Secrets kill

This is an email I got from a friend.

“I want to tell you as a public health professional that has worked at front line addiction treatment and care organizations for the last 5 years with some of Canada’s most vulnerable citizens, I think your book and the media reaction is very important. By telling your story truthfully and publicly you help combat the stigma and shame that keeps many people who deal with the myriad of issues that often accompany addiction from seeking assistance.

As a public health professional The Globe and Mail interview made me so angry as I see first hand the impact of people who have internalized a social sensibility that their experiences ‘should perhaps be kept private.’ Regrettably, people keep their personal and family trauma so private that they do not seek help for their addiction-related issues until the negative impacts are so entrenched and perhaps even irreversible (like overdose or contracting HIV/AIDS).

The overall social cost of substance abuse in Canada in 2002 was estimated to be $39.8 billion; costs attributed to alcohol were estimated to account for 36.5% of that total. Addiction isn’t a private problem, it affects everyone and the solution isn’t to keep the problem in the closet.”