10 Sobering Facts on the Business Costs of Addiction in 2016

By Laurel Sindewaldnumbers

  1. In 2014, 10.2% of Americans 12 or older were current users of illegal drugs and, in 2013, of 22.4 million current illegal drug users 18 or older, 15.4 million or 68.9% were employed full-time or part-time. Source and Source
  2. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that drug abuse and addiction from the use of tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs cost the U.S. over $700 billion each year. Those costs include health care, productivity loss, crime, incarceration and drug enforcement. Source
  3. $9.2 billion was allotted for early intervention and addictions treatment in the Federal Drug Control budget in 2013. Source
  4. Over 70 percent of the estimated costs of alcohol abuse are due to lost productivity in the workplace. Source
  5.  24% of workers report drinking during the workday at least once in the past year in federal surveys. Source
  6. Cigarette smoking costs the US over $300 billion a year, including $170 billion in health care and $156 billion in lost productivity. Source
  7. On average, addictions treatment costs $1,583 per patient, with a corresponding $11,487 return in benefits to society; this is a return on investment of 7 to 1. Most of the benefits come from reduced crime and increased employment earnings. Source
  8. Every $1 invested in treatment reduces the costs of drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft by $4 to $7. Source
  9. 25 cents of every dollar spent on health care is spent on the treatment of diseases or disabilities resulting from behaviors that could potentially be changed. Source
  10. The cost to replace an employee making less than $30K per year is 16% of their annual salary. Source

New2Recovery, a product of Cognichoice, is a free smartphone app for those newly or early in recovery from addictions. New2Recovery is available from Google Play, iTunes, and Amazon.

Nutrition Supports Recovery

By Laurel Sindewald

When you’re early in recovery from alcohol addiction, it’s important to remember to be kind to your body. Your body is in a state of malnutrition due both to poor dietary habits and to the ways in which alcohol impairs the body’s digestion, storage, use, and excretion of nutrients.Restoring yourself with proper nutrition is thus key for a successful recovery, and it is unsurprising that nutritional education has been shown to be associated with better recovery rates.

You’re probably used to getting half of your daily calories from alcohol. Alcohol turns to sugar in the body. Processed sugars make blood sugar levels spike and drop, and when blood sugar drops, the craving comes stronger than ever. To use nutrition to help stay sober, sugar is the first food to stay away from.Healthy food concept

Caffeine is unfortunately the second.  Caffeine overstimulates the nervous system and causes high anxiety and insomnia, which only exacerbates post-acute withdrawal symptoms.

The most common nutritional deficiencies in recovering alcoholics are vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), thiamine, and folic acid. Deficiencies in these cause anemia, as well as neurological problems, so, a B-complex supplement, along with vitamins A and C might be considered. Women recovering from alcoholism are at high risk for osteoporosis and calcium supplements might be of value. Consult with a health care professional about whether or not supplements might support your recovery.

Neurotransmitters need replenishing, particularly norepinephrine.  To do this, eat foods rich in amino acids, or in other words, protein.  Eggs, lean red meats, chicken, fish, turkey, and nuts are all recommended in abundance.

Believe it or not, fats are essential too.  Essential fatty acids are needed for nutrient uptake and cellular repair, as well as for combating depression.  Look to olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, butter, avocado, and nuts to provide these essential fatty acids.

Rather than eating a few large meals a day, maintain stability with multiple smaller meals and snacks in between. Nuts and granola can make good snacks, with plenty of protein and carbs to keep us fueled through the day.

A diet rich in complex carbohydrates will help stabilize blood sugar and can improve mental focus. These are whole grains, beans, and vegetables, many of which also have protein and vitamins. Here are some helpful complex carbohydrates to look for:

  • Quinoa is a grain high in protein and good carbs, and can be found at grocery stores with pre-mixed spices for excellent flavor. It only takes about 15 minutes to cook and most boxes have various recipes to try. Consider making quinoa with fish, like salmon or tilapia, and a hearty pot of southern greens.
  • Lentils, of whatever color, are another fantastic carb. Lentil soup with carrots, garlic, and celery is heartwarming on a cold day, and helps keep one feeling stable and strong.
  • Split Peas also make a wonderful soup with a robust flavor. Home-made split pea soup only takes about thirty minutes to prepare. Add ham or cooked bacon to this winter favorite.
  • Barley and Rice are great in soups, cooked with spices as a side, or even cooked and cooled for a salad.
  • Black Beans, Kidney Beans, Black Eyed Peas, or any bean is your best friend for quick and sustaining meals. Whether it be a delicious chili or black bean soup, beans are full of the kind of carbs and protein you need. Stay away from baked beans, which have sugar in them, but pinto beans combine well with fish and Mexican dishes.
  • Collard, Mustard, Turnip Greens, Spinach, and Kale are full of vitamins in addition to those complex carbohydrates.
  • Other Vegetables: Carrots, Brussel Sprouts, Asparagus, Broccoli
  • Whole Wheat Pastas and Bread

Sometimes it can be hard to find time to cook, but fast food is full of processed sugars and carbs which can bring on cravings. The additives in processed foods can tax the liver further. Try some of these simple dinners:

  • Baked or fried salmon or tilapia, a side of quinoa or couscous, and steamed broccoli. (Mix and match different vegetables or grains as sides.)
  • Lentil soup with slices of buttered whole grain bread.
  • Black bean, kidney bean, and ground beef chili with a side salad of baby spinach with walnuts and cranberries.
  • Split pea soup, containing ham or bacon, potatoes, carrots, and celery.
  • Spaghetti or ravioli with sautéed onions, mushrooms, and ground turkey, beef, or sausage.
  • Baked chicken and asparagus, steamed Brussels sprouts, and a side of wild rice.
  • Bell peppers, onions, chicken, and garlic sautéed with fajita spices and served in tortillas.
  • Tacos with ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa.

“We’re not asking them to live on arugula,” says Dr. Pamela Peeke, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, author of “The Hunger Fix,” and senior science adviser to Elements Behavioral Health. “We come upon creative, delicious entrees and snacks…to reclaim that reward center. We’re switching them from bad fixes to healthy fixes.”

Wishing you a delicious and nutritious recovery.

Laurel Sindewald is a writer, researcher, and editor.

A version of this post originally appeared on annegiles.com.

The content of this post is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional advice. Consult a qualified health care professional for personalized medical and professional advice.

10 Facts and Figures on the Business Costs of Addiction

A version of this post first appeared on Handshake 2.0.

By Laurel Sindewald

1. In 2012, 9.2% of Americans 12 or older were current users of illegal drugs and, of 21.5 million current illegal drug users 18 or older, 14.6 million or 67.9% were employed full-time or part-time. Source

Statistics on the business costs of addictions in the U.S.2. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that drug abuse and addiction from the use of tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs cost the U.S. over $524 billion each year. Those costs include health care, productivity loss, crime, incarceration and drug enforcement. Source

3. Over 70 percent of the estimated costs of alcohol abuse are due to lost productivity in the workplace. Source

4. Two out of three adults in the U.S. knows someone who has gone to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Source

5. Cigarette smoking costs over $65 billion annually in health care costs. In comparison, obesity results in costs of over $27 billion a year. Source

6. On average, treatment costs $1,583 per patient, with a corresponding $11,487 return in benefits to society; this is a return on investment of 7 to 1. Most of the benefits come from reduced crime and increased employment earnings. Source

7. Of the $294 billion estimated social costs for substance abuse in 1997, only $11.9 was spent on treatment. Source

8. The American Medical Association found that 25 cents of every dollar spent on health care is spent on the treatment of diseases or disabilities resulting from behaviors that could potentially be changed. Source

9. Replacing an employee costs between 25-200% of an employee’s annual compensation. Turnover involves potential losses of institutional knowledge and continuity of service, as well as effects on coworker productivity and morale. Source

10. Every $1 invested in treatment reduces the costs of drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft by $4 to $7. Source

If you’d like to use this post as a handout, here’s a .pdf version.

New2Recovery(TM), a free smartphone app for those newly or early in recovery from addictions, is from Cognichoice(R).

Where Did You Get the Idea to Do a Recovery App?

In Katie Love’s interview with me as a co-founder of our addictions recovery mobile app New2Recovery, she asked, “Where did you get the idea to do a recovery app?”

I was stumped by the question, not because I didn’t know the answer, but by the “you.” When I began drafting how the app would work and why, I envisioned face after face on the white page, inspiring me, reminding me, exploring with me what modern mobile technology needed to do and be for the ancient problem of addictions.

It’s not a “you” app. It’s a “we” app.

Sharing awareness of feelings supports making changes

[Read more…]

New2Recovery Featured on Let’s Talk Tech

Let's Talk Tech hosted by Katie Love of WSLS 10Thank you, Katie Love of WSLS 10, for featuring New2Recovery in your story App for recovering addicts created by Blacksburg entrepreneur and for interviewing co-founder Anne Giles for your Let’s Talk Technology Show!

WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Having trouble viewing? See the video on WSLS 10

For those newly or early in recovery from addictions – to drugs, alcohol, both or others – New2Recovery helps you stay aware of what you’re feeling and thinking so you can make the choices you want to make.

New2Recovery is a free mobile app available for Android devices in Google Play and the Amazon App Store.

With New2Recovery you can:

  • Become aware.
  • Check in with yourself.
  • Make a conscious choice.
  • Track your feelings, thoughts and choices over time.
  • Share with your network.

Read more about New2Recovery.

New2Recovery(TM) is from Cognichoice(R), a line of personal awareness and social sharing software applications based on the principle that awareness of feelings and thoughts within the context of social support can foster conscious, healthy choices. Read more...

Announcing the Release of New2Recovery for Addictions

We’re delighted to announce that New2Recovery(TM), the mobile application for addictions recovery, was released on January 6, 2014!

New2Recovery is available for Android devices in GooglePlay and the Amazon App Store.

Awareness gives me a chance to changeFor those newly or early in recovery from addictions – to drugs, alcohol, both or others – New2Recovery helps you stay aware of what you’re feeling and thinking so you can make the choices you want to make.

With New2Recovery you can:

  • Become aware.
  • Check in with yourself.
  • Make a conscious choice.
  • Track your feelings, thoughts and choices over time.
  • Share with your network.

Here’s who we think will be happy with New2Recovery.

Read more about New2Recovery.

Coming soon! More2Recovery™ is for those with six months or more of clean and sober time – because there’s more to recovery than abstinence.

New2Recovery is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional advice. Please consult a qualified health care professional for personalized medical and professional advice.

We welcome feedback and suggestions! [email protected].

Who We Think Will Be Happy with New2Recovery

We expect to release addictions recovery app New2Recovery (TM) in the next few days. We’re choosing the app’s icon as I write this post! And we’re delighted to show you New2Recovery’s splash screen!

Awareness gives me a chance to changeNew2Recovery is for people who think they have a problem or have acknowledged they do and want a support tool to help them make a change. [Read more…]

Cognichoice Offers Recovering Addicts a Hand with New Mobile App

New2Recovery Reinforces Positive Thinking and Behavior, Helps Users Help Themselves

Blacksburg, Virginia – December 19, 2013  – Cognichoice(R), a health IT startup, announced that it will release New2Recovery(TM), a mobile application that helps newly recovering addicts and alcoholics manage self-destructive thoughts and behavior. The app acts like a virtual support person or sponsor, reinforcing positive choices on-the-go, helping users navigate complex feelings and keep in touch with their support networks through text, email, and social media.

Release of New2Recovery is expected by year’s end for Android devices for free through Google Play.

Addictions recovery app New2Recovery is from CognichoiceAccording to Cognichoice’s co-founder, Anne Giles, M.A., M.S., “There’s no sure formula or guarantee for staying clean and sober, but we’ve done our best to assist with New2Recovery. It helps app users help themselves change what they used to do into what they want to do.” [Read more…]

Why Addicts Don’t Tell

“I don’t want to have to hide my sobriety; it’s the best thing about me.”
– Molly Jong-Fast

Mums the word on recovery from addictions and alcoholism“Hi, I’m FirstName and I’m about to tell you something about myself that will mark me with a social stigma, be perceived by you as a moral failing – even if you’ve liked and respected me in the past – may threaten my health care coverage, and will probably result in you discriminating against me and hiring someone else even though I am qualified for the job.”

Would you tell? [Read more…]

Crowdfunding Provided Seed Funding for New2Recovery

New2Recovery™ is a forthcoming mobile application for those early or newly in recovery from addictions – to substances such as drugs and alcohol, or to processes such as gambling or shopping.

Seed funding for the development of New2Recovery(TM) came from over 50 contributors raising over $5000 through health innovation crowdfunding site Health Tech Hatch founded by Patricia Salber, M.D.

Cognichoice crowdfunding campaign page on Health Tech Hatch

[Read more…]