Dr. Willenbring Makes Plea for Quality, Accessible Treatment
"Given the widespread nature of heavy drinking — as well as myths, misunderstandings, and stereotypes surrounding it — a solution must take a true, population-based approach to this epidemic."
In an op-ed published in Real Clear Health, Annum's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Willenbring calls for high quality alcohol treatment and argues that effectively reaching at-need populations requires business leaders to treat heavy drinking as a workforce issue. In doing so, Dr. Willenbring also debunks myths about who engages in high-risk drinking.
Writes Dr. Willenbring:
Most people who struggle with heavy drinking defy the common stereotypes; they are employed, married, good parents, and respected members of the community. In most cases, the only people who may know about an individual’s struggles are close family members, but even they may be unaware. Moreover, most people with AUD have a milder form of it and are aware that they are drinking more than they would like. Such people are often distressed by their inability to keep alcohol use within safe limits and are deeply unhappy about its impact on their lives and those who rely on them.
...Since three in four heavy drinkers are employed, it makes sense for efforts to combat heavy drinking to focus on the workforce. Employers have a stake in helping their employees lead healthier and more productive lives. The financial incentive is obvious and we need leadership from the business community.