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With addiction, treatment is always possible despite the unknowns

Robin Williams' death calls attention to the problems of addiction. But treatment, despite the unknowns of addiction, is always available.
Herb Scribner, Deseret News Modified: August 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm •  Published: August 13, 2014

On Monday, Robin Williams’ sudden death, which has been linked to mental illness, brought attention to the struggle many Americans face with addiction. According to The Hollywood Reporter, his death may have been the final result of a thirty-year battle with cocaine and alcohol which first began in the 1980s.

However, Williams is not alone.

According to an analysis by the Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap initiative, 23 million Americans are currently addicted to alcohol and/or other types of drugs. Only 10 percent of this number receive treatment to help them out of addiction.

Problems with addiction hinder brain activity and development, according to The National Institutes of Health, and increase the risk of suicide for addicts. One study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, also found that 68 percent of patients treated in a drug abuse clinic suffered from depression, and 28 percent of those patients attempted suicide within the last year.

But addiction affects more than just the person directly involved. WebMD found in a national survey that addiction affects the daily lives of more than two-thirds of American families, making a cure for people with addiction the source for much scientific research in recent years.

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