Michael Cartwright was once an addict; now he is an advocate against drug abuse, prescription and otherwise. As part of his crusade against drug abuse, he has written a book: “Believable Hope: Five Essential Elements.” Although many associate drug addiction with illegal drugs, prescription drug abuse is rampant in Los Angeles and throughout the United States. For example, according to the Los Angeles County Health Department, there were 8,265 drug-related deaths between 2000 and 2009, and approximately 61% of those deaths involved a commonly abused prescription/over the counter (OTC) drug. On a national level, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription painkiller overdoses were responsible for more than 15,500 deaths in 2009.
Prescription drug abuse is a significant problem among US teens. On December 19, the National Institute on Drug Abuse released its annual teen drug abuse survey and found that illicit drugs were used by 25.2% of 12th graders, 18.6% of 10th graders, and 7.7% of 8th graders. After marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the top drugs abused by 12th graders in the past year. The percentage of 12th graders who have used the following drugs in the past year: Adderall (7.6%), Vicodin (7.5%), cold medicines (5.6%). tranquilizers (5.3%), OxyContin (4.3%), Ritalin (2.6%), and Methaqualone/Quaaludes (0.4%).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is actively engaged in curbing prescription drug abuse. On January 25, 2012 an FDA advisory panel voted to place new restrictions on common types of narcotic painkillers that contain hydrocodone such as Vicodin and generic equivalents. The recommendation is focused on reducing widespread abuse of the potent narcotic, which has sparked a significant rise in addiction and overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16,500 individuals died after overdosing on opioid-based painkillers in 2010, the most recent data available.
Michael Cartwright poses the questions: “Do you know a person who is leading an emotionally damaged, pain-filled life, and pretending that he or she chooses to live that way? Do you know someone who is dealing with an addiction or alcoholism, struggling with a weight problem, or trying to overcome some sort of compulsive behavior? I do. Most of us do. Maybe that person we know . . . is you.”
In his new book, Cartwright explains that by making small, consistent, daily choices, you can change for the better—and he will show you how to do it. Many people want to change, but don’t know how or where to start. In his book, you will find the best thinking from expert therapists actively involved in his rehabilitative treatment centers: American Addiction Centers. He also incorporated practical wisdom he gleaned from his grandmother. He has honed these concepts to five elements, essential for anyone desiring permanent, positive change in his or her lifestyle. These principles are so simple that almost anyone can adopt them; they can be customized and applied to any area of life in which a person desires transformation. Yet they are so profound that most people miss them.
The five important ingredients necessary to facilitate real, lasting change are as follows:
- Find believable hope.
- Specifically visualize or imagine the new world you desire to create.
- Surround yourself with winners.
- Put your plan into action.
- Maintain the life you love.
Michael Cartwright is a respected addiction industry trailblazer and a noted behavioral healthcare entrepreneur. Over his 17-year career, Michael has been instrumental in setting up addiction treatment centers across the United States which have served over 20,000 patients. He has been committed to research-based treatment and has directly supervised fifteen federally funded studies that helped lay the foundation for the five Elements to overcome any addiction. A leading advocate for dual diagnosis treatment, Michael was nominated by Senator Ted Kennedy to the Senate Health Committee. He was a founding board member for the 12-Step organization Dual Recovery Anonymous, a national support group helping people suffering from combined mental health and substance abuse issues. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of American Addiction Centers, a behavioral healthcare company with treatment centers in California, Texas, Nevada, and Tennessee.
For more information regarding the American Addiction Centers, go to http://www.americanaddictioncenters.com/