A summary from the Shatterproof Website

The disease of addiction claims more than 135,000 lives annually, making it the third largest cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. More than twenty two million Americans suffer from addiction. At least one hundred million Americans suffer directly or indirectly from the disease, nearly one in three Americans. Those who are suffering from the disease and the millions who love them find their lives shattered.” is a national non-profit dedicated to reducing the devastation that addiction to prescription drugs, illicit drugs and alcohol causes to families.

“Our children are the victims. Unlike any other major disease, there is a narrow window when addiction develops: it nearly always originates during adolescence. The pre-frontal lobe, the area of the brain where decision-making, judgment and self-control reside, is the last area of the brain to develop, usually in the early twenties. Drugs arrest the development of the pre-frontal lobe and target the brain’s reward system, literally changing brain circuitry.”

“Addiction is similar to other diseases, such as heart disease. Both disrupt the normal, healthy functioning of the underlying organ, have serious harmful consequence, and are preventable and treatable.”

Classic signs of addiction from the National Institute on Drug Abuse

  • Inability to stop using drugs
  • Poor behavioral control
  • Constant craving for drugs
  • Inability to recognize serious problems with behaviors/relationships
  • Continued drug use despite negative consequences.

“Relapse rates for drug-addicted patients are similar to other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma. When treatment plans are not followed or do not work the patient will relapse. Hypertension and asthma have relapse rates from 50 to 70% of patients suffering from the disease. Drug addiction has a relapse rate of 40 to 50% and therefore drug addiction should be treated like any other chronic illness.”