SALT LAKE CITY September 12, 2016 – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes released the following statement on National Alcohol and Drug Recovery Month:
“According to Utah’s Department of Health, 24 individuals a month in our state die from prescription drug overdoses. Add to that the frightening statistic according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Utah has the seventh-highest rate of alcohol poisoning deaths in the nation, and we must acknowledge a serious problem exists in our state.
“However, statistics often fail to adequately convey the grief and pain associated with particular challenges. Most of us have been impacted directly or indirectly by the grip of alcohol and drug addiction. Many of us are familiar with stories of how an “innocent few drinks” or prescribed pain medication led to the captivity of someone we know and love.
“No one starts out wanting to be an addict. And the addicts we know are not generally hardened criminals. They are our kids and our neighbors, soccer moms and little league coaches. We owe it to them to find better ways to get them help, treatment, and healing rather than incarceration or judgment.
“I have listened to, counseled with and prayed for both those caught up in the throes of addiction, those on the road to recovery, and some who may have relapsed, as well as their families. I admire many I have known who have struggled to regain their control, dignity, careers, families, and lives and as they fight to break destructive cycles and maintain sobriety.
“As Attorney General, I have come to recognize how alcohol and drugs are intertwined with some of our society’s most serious crimes. Human traffickers drug their victims to ensure that they become controllable and enslaved to addictions. Drug lords continue to push geographic and biological limits. And the majority of petty crimes like burglaries are committed to satisfying opioid and other addictions. The inclination to commit all types of crimes may be increased when one has their conscience blunted by the effects of addictive substances.
“During National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery month, we urge every Utahn to consider how we can work together to prevent addiction and support those on the difficult road to recovery. My team wishes to express our greatest hope and encouragement for those who are already on the path to recovery and those we hope will arrive there. We offer our full support to our state’s clinicians, families, and individuals who fight the battle on a daily basis.”
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