Challenges have become commonplace with the massive role social media plays today’s society. CBS News is inviting everyone to a new challenge called #14Days on the Wagon. This challenge is being introduced as a movement which calls for people to avoid alcoholic beverages of any kind along with drugs that are not medically necessary for two weeks.
The goal of this new challenge is to cut out drug-related substances for 14 days in order to show solidarity with loved ones and friends who are in recovery. By joining the movement not only are individuals supporting victims of drug and substance abuse but they will also enhance their own well-being and health.
In America drug and alcohol abuse contributes to more than 90,000 deaths a year. The challenge of this movement is to help everyone become more conscious of their own habits while developing a new level of compassion for people who struggle with the disease on a daily basis. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in four deaths are a result of tobacco, alcohol and/or illicit drug use. More disabilities, illnesses and deaths have resulted from substance abuse than any other preventable health condition.
Addiction is a disease. It is defined as a chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by the compulsive use of drug seeking and abuse. This disease is considered a brain issue because it has been proven that drugs have the ability to change the brain, its structure and how it works. Depending on the type of drug and the length of usage, these changes in the brain can be long-lasting and often lead to harmful, self-destructive behaviors.
Addictive drugs, either directly or indirectly, flood the brain with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in areas of the brain that regulate emotion, feelings of pleasure, motivation, movement and cognition. When this system is over stimulated it produces euphoric effects which cause those who use drugs to attempt to repeat the behavior in order to maintain or regain that feeling.
Although the initial choice to use drugs is usually voluntary, once the addiction takes over it seriously impairs a person’s ability to exert self-control. A big problem America is facing is there are too many people who need treatment for their disorder that are not getting the help they need.
Last year a study from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found nearly 23 million Americans 12-years-old and up needed to be in treatment for a drug or alcohol abuse problem but only two and a half million actually got help in a facility that is designed to treat substance abuse disorders.
As people join the movement #14Days on the Wagon CBS News will offer guidance and encouragement from leading experts in the fields of health, addiction and recovery. Well-known experts such as Dr. Drew, Dr. Adi Jaffe, Tommy Rosen, Gabrielle Bernstein and others will touch on a variety of topics geared towards overcoming addiction and providing support to those who know people bound by the disease.
These experts will explore topics from nutrition and diet to motivation and strength building. Many of the experts will share their own experiences in overcoming addiction while discussing new types of alternative treatments, spiritual and mental strength, stress reduction, family recovery and yoga and meditation. This promises to be an informative, engaging and inspiring #14Days.
CBS is encouraging people from everywhere to jump on the wagon and share their experiences using the hashtag #14Days. Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious disease that has many victims under its spell. The #14Days on the Wagon challenge, which starts October 6th, is not a challenge for fun but it is designed to bring awareness to this deadly issue while helping people live an all-around healthier life. Join the movement for a better America.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)