Harry Nelson discusses the evolution of addiction and recovery and that how it is now widely recognized as a national and international health crisis. It knows no bounds, afflicting millions of people, with many millions more at risk. In 2013, 23 million people sought treatment for various substance use disorder problems. The number at risk in the U.S. alone is estimated to be triple or maybe even quadruple that number. Of the 23 million seeking help last year for alcohol use disorder, prescription painkillers, marijuana, and illegal drugs, a mere 2.5 million actually received treatment at a specialized treatment facility. Of these 2.5 million who entered rehab, the vast majority are likely to relapse. These numbers help explain the massive scope of the problem of addiction. In this article Harry identifies  some of the progress that’s been made (i.e. the good), the challenges ahead (i.e. the bad), and problems that the addiction treatment industry needs to come to grips with (i.e. the ugly).

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