President of U.S. Demeans S.U.D. sufferers –

Oct. 1, 2020 – Even the Real Housewives know that kids are always off-limits. Around 20 million Americans ages 12 and older have a substance abuse disorder, according to a 2019 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. When Trump took a shot at Biden’s son on this prime-time stage, he was also firing off at them and at the tens of thousands of family members who have an addict in their lives.

With roughly 70,000 people dying per year from accidental overdoses and with alcohol use skyrocketing during the pandemic, it feels wildly callous and irresponsible for our president to “go in” on people who are struggling with a disease formally recognized by the American Medical Association.

On April 22, 1978, then-first lady of the United States Betty Ford bravely announced to the world that she was addicted to prescription medication and alcohol. Later on, she famously created the gold standard in treatment centers, the Betty Ford Center. And up until her death at age 93, she worked tirelessly to remove the stigma that many people associate with alcoholism and addiction. 

Last week when actor Dax Shepard opened up on his podcast Armchair Expert about his drug use after claiming 16 years of sobriety, he spoke about being scared — not just of having “lost his time,” but of being stigmatized. Shepard spoke candidly about how his ego was his own worst enemy, saying he had been afraid of what people would think of him if he confessed.

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