I arrived in southern California in 2002 with nothing but a knapsack. I was fresh out of therapy and facing the steep consequences of my craving frightened me. California was the new frontier, a place where I could start over. I dreamed of one day building a business, making a name for myself, and exploring the incredible opportunities my recovery had given me. In the next ten years, I did just that. I became part of the Costa Mesa recovery community, appeared as an intervention coordinator on A& Es Intervention , and opened a treatment center for men like me, who were ready to change their lives.
I find the person or persons I helped get sober take huge leaps in their recovery. Our community grew. Addiction and recovery entered the mainstream. As the nations opioid epidemic surged, so did our communitys response. And for the first time we werent fighting this battle alone.
When the Surgeon General identified addiction as amental illness, I felt like there was hope. Finally, instead of countless junkies and alcoholics dying every year, we had assistance. Although junkies still faced incredible prejudices, and the stigma of our illness, policy moved forward. Treatment was covered under Medicare as well as the Affordable Care Act.
Over the years, I paid high taxes as a business owned up to 60 percentage, some years. Those costs cut into what I could invest in my therapy center, and restriction the services I could offer our clients. Although we were saving lots of lives at my facility, I foresaw what was possible, if only we had more resources.
When Donald Trump operate for office in 2016, his message seemed clearly defined: cut taxes, and help addicts. At a town hall meeting in Farmington, N.H ., he said, We are gonna try and help the young people, and the old people, and the middle age people, and everybody that got addicted. The fact that Trump himself was a non-drinker and non-drug user abstinent, though not inevitably in recovery made his terms resonate strongly with me. I donated to his campaign and listened very carefully when the candidates spoke about the necessity of achieving therapy, recovery, and help for junkies. When I voted for him in November, I believed that I was one step closer to inducing my dream a reality.
The required protection for people who struggle with craving among them my centres clients, my friends, my loved ones, and myself is not there.
However, since his inauguration, Trump has not made good on the promises that brought him my referendum and my campaign contribution. Besides the strange inconsistencies in his behaviour, his reactive social media presence, and his paranoia, there was the question of when and how hed implement the health care policiesthat would save lives. With a daily death rate of nearly 200 people per day, it was time to get serious. Where was Trump on this hard-hitting issue? I still havent insured the progressive action that was such an important part of his platform.
Furthermore, TrumpCare isnt what it seems to be, either. Looking closely at what the president proposes, its full of holes. The required protection for people who struggle with addiction among them my centres clients, my friends, my loved ones, and myself is not there. Trump said that he would repeal and replace the Affordable Healthcare Act. The replacement, it seems, was even worse than the original. And it looks like theyre not stopping with ACA, either. Republicans are suggesting a rollback of Medicaid, which offers critical coverage for people who need inpatient and outpatient treatment. Republican leaders, such as Speaker Paul Ryan, are scrambling to find a combination of laws and policies to fill the gap that the Affordable Healthcare Act will leave behind. Ryan moves for accessibility instead of universal coverage. Anyone who has worked immediately with junkies knows that this isnt enough. The out-of-pocket costs for treatment can be astronomical. For a quality therapy centre, insurance is practically mandatory to defray the costs. And it is a life-and-death matter. Without treatment, many addicts and alcoholics will die. With every day that passes, another life is lost. Mothers lose their children, infants lose their parents. Households are torn apart. It is all preventable but we need help to make it possible for everyone .
When I voted for Trump, I truly believed that he could make-up America great, and give every junkie a chance to get sober. I assured a bright future. Now, Im not so sure. If he wants to regain his supporters confidence, and prevent the narcotic epidemic from killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, he needs to make good on what he promised. Lower taxes, sure. But not at the cost of American lives.