Driving While Under The Influence!
It is time for Rehab!
Every, Holiday season we see the warning, from local and state agencies explaining that law enforcement will be out searching for those that are drinking and driving. The commercials, advertisements, media reminders, newspaper articles are all right in front of us, letting us know it is time to be aware and don't drink and drive.
So why is it that after 20 years of a shift to tougher drinking and driving laws, media campaigns, prevention awareness programs, we still see numbers of people doing this behavior repetitive?
The answer is we're not addressing the primary problem with the individuals that are drinking and driving. We can take away their drivers license, lock them away off the streets, and once they are released from jail or prison they are back to drinking and driving. The reason is the main problem is alcohol or substance use related and it is still not addressed appropriately.
I know this does not cross the average individuals mind space during the holidays. I mean who sits around and ask why are people still drinking and driving in 2013 or 2014?
However, if your one of the families or the law enforcement agencies or trauma units that deal with the aftermath you do think about this problem annually or quite often.
I am proposing legislation in our great State of Texas and Oklahoma that once someone is arrested, they are automatically referred to an alcohol and drug treatment program for an assessment and evaluation to determine if rehab is needed. If that addiction professional deems the person has a substance use disorder. Then they must successfully complete a alcohol rehab as a consequence for their drinking and driving. You can stack on all the other behavior consequence you feel are appropriate to try and prevent the problem from returning, but let's add treatment to the front in of the problem.
The problem with alcohol and drugs is that a large portion of those that are drinking and driving if assessed by an addiction professional would meet the criteria for admission into an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program, either at an intensive outpatient or residential treatment level.
What you may not be aware of is that the tools, assessments, testing and technology is already available to help screen for someone who is alcohol or drug dependent at these programs across the nation. The treatment programs already do this on each patient entering their programs. They do this to make sure they don't admit someone falsely that does not need the necessary treatment.
It is time we wake up to the reality that alcohol and drug addiction is a leading cause of this behavior. We have bounced around it, denied it, turned our heads and here we are still seeing people drinking and driving repetitive.
It takes thinking outside the box to change the mindset of our culture. It takes even more effort to do something about the problem. Please join me in this legislative change and let's make a difference at lowering the amount of drinking and driving in Texas and Oklahoma.
If you have recently been arrested for alcohol or an drug related offense, go ahead and call and addiction treatment program. Don't wait till we pass a law, be responsible and get the help you need, call a treatment center now.
Addiction Treatment Resources:
Summer Sky Treatment Center
NOVA Recovery Center
Archway Recovery Centers, Inc.