Blogs and Updates

Learn more about our work to help addiction sufferers get well and stay well from this disease.

Face It TOGETHER® exists to support the recovery revolution. One of our purposes is to evangelize the proliferation and support of a private sector funded recovery community organization that will, in turn, bring a community-wide focus to the recovery oriented system of care model.  In pursuing this purpose we have discovered that business (the undisputed commercial foundation of the private sector) is very interested (and perhaps far more so than it is given credit for) in treating addiction as a chronic disease

Integrating  medical care is not a new idea. One of the oldest and best-known examples is the Mayo Clinic.

That said, integrating behavioral health with primary care services is a great idea whose time has come and is long overdue. Each day, as this type of integration evolves, whether through accountable care organizations, health homes or other approaches to integrating care, enormous value will be created.

I’ve been blessed once again this week with the opportunity to work with the family of a very sick young man in desperate need of help. I hope never to lose the sense of gratitude I have for such opportunities.  At the same time, however, I am also reminded of how much is wrong with today’s system of dealing with addiction.

Last week, USA Today published a heartfelt Op/Ed piece authored by our good friend, Senator George McGovern, who lamented, “little meaningful progress against this disease” in the 17 years since losing his daughter, Terry, to addiction.  He pointed out the, “fundamental failures in today’s system of care”, and acknowledged the psychological barriers of fear, stigma and shame that keep millions of Americans away from the help they need.

Estimates show nearly 23 million Americans have a problem with drugs or alcohol, with 17,000 of them living in Sioux Falls. But a recovery movement underway in Sioux Falls is poised to sweep the nation.

Today’s recovery revolution is the most significant development in decades in the fields of addiction, treatment and recovery.  People in recovery are organizing and mobilizing and service delivery systems are being transformed in communities across the country.  Even those charged with administering the public sector have come around to the notion of emphasizing recovery.  I have great respect for the thought leaders and practitioners who’ve taught us so much.

Today’s status quo is not acceptable. We live in the most advanced civilization in history and yet we haven’t figured out how to solve our greatest public health challenge; addiction. 23 Million Americans suffer from addiction and only about 10% get the help they need any given year and those who do are oftentimes provided with time-constrained episodes of acute care. Something has got to change. 

What are our natural instincts when a family member acquires a potentially fatal chronic disease?  Love?  Fear?  Compassion?  Understanding?  Sadness?  Empathy?

We may even feel like we are walking in the shoes of the afflicted member as they attempt to learn new tools to manage their chronic condition.