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Healthline Connects

Recovery Month 2007 - Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx Speaks Out

The National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month asks us to join the voices for recovery to save lives and dollars. Millions of people are plagued by the disease of addiction and are going without treatment. Once people enter into treatment, their lives, their health, their income levels improve. Almost everyone's life is impacted in some way by a friend or a family member with a substance abuse problem.

In 2002, the economic cost of drug abuse was $180.9 billion - second only to heart disease at $183.1 billion and higher than cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and stroke. It is one of the most costly health problems we face as a nation. Treatment for substance abuse disorders has been found to be as effective as treatments for other chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes.

Treatment programs are best individualized and can be residential or outpatient, but most include a combination of counseling, family therapy, medication and behavioural therapy. Over 75% of adults with substance abuse problems are employed. EAP programs that offer substance abuse treatment improve a company's bottom line - and cut problems like absenteeism, tardiness, work related injuries and errors.

Founding member of heavy metal band Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx, wrote a book chronicling his heroin addiction and recovery, The Heroin Diaries with an accompanying soundtrack. He was the first rock star to ever speak at a National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month luncheon in Washington DC. Some of the profits from Sixx's book will go to Running Wild in the Night, a fundraising initiative for Covenant House, California. Covenant House is a crisis center for youth at risk. Sixx, now the father of 4, gave up the wild and crazy life to preserve his creativity and his relationships. He wants kids to be able to look up to him as a clean and sober, but hopefully still "cool" guy. He reports that at age 13, he was once homeless like the kids he now tries to help - and he realized his dream of being a rock star, but woke up a junkie. He is now sober but rocks on...
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