What do Whitney Houston, Anna Nicole Smith, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson have in common? Besides top celebrity status, each individual lost his or her battle with drug and alcohol addiction within the last five years. Of course, you need not be a superstar to fall victim to this cunning and very powerful disease. From young to old, poor to rich, male to female, addiction doesn’t discriminate. Its deathly grip is fierce and unrelenting, often requiring professional help in order to break free.
According to a five-year national study conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA Columbia), 40 million Americans ages 12 and older struggle with addiction involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs. Released on June 26, 2012, the study also reports that of the 40 million, only 10 percent seek addiction treatment.