The United States has been embroiled in the War on Drugs for decades, and we aren’t winning it. Millions of people are addicted to over-the-counter or illegal drugs, and events such as the opioid crisis have demonstrated that despite decades of effort, Americans are still struggling with drug addictions. 

Sadly, many people find themselves unable to overcome these addictions, and overdosing deaths have increased despite the efforts of the War on Drugs. According to The New York Times, for the first time, overdose deaths have exceeded 100,000 per year, more than a gun and traffic fatalities combined. Clearly, the answers that we have relied on are not working, and we need a new system to address the problems. 

Johnwick Nathan, the CEO of Harbor Healthcare Integrated, has created that new system. Instead of targeting drugs, Harbor Health seeks to directly help those who have become addicted to drugs. Its unique approach to dealing with the ailments that its patients suffer from step from the fact that the idea that each patient is a human being in need of health is never forgotten. 

There is a stigma in the United States against mentally ill and drug-addicted individuals. The unfortunate truth is that there are often not enough resources for helping these people to go around. Added to this is the fact that many people see the mentally ill or addicted as undesirables or even parasites and address them as statistics instead of the pained souls that they really are. 

At Harbor Health, every individual taken in, regardless of their previous background or orientation, is treated with dedicated care and respect. This approach ensures that patients will not completely lose themselves, and can recuperate and relax in an area where they are not judged by their ailments. Recovering addicts are given counseling to address the issues that caused their addictions, and are guided through recovery on their time. On-site housing ensures that they have a warm and comfortable bed, and community therapy and outreach sessions help to form a bond with other patients. 

It is a very lonely life that many addicts live. Ostracized from family and friends, the communal aspect that Harbor Health offers is critical to their recovery because it helps them rediscover the warmth of being with people again. They can feel free to express themselves in therapeutic sessions and counseling and as they are weaned off of their addictions, they are taken care of by a community that wants to see them succeed beyond anything else. 

This point of view is key to Harbor Health, and it is demonstrating the shifting tides of the drug epidemics in the United States. For years people were taught that drug addicts were low of the low and nothing better than petty thieves. However, people have learned over time that many drug addicts fell or were pressured into drugs. Events such as the opioid epidemics have also proven that many addicts become addicted due to medical mishandling or corruption and were not responsible for what happened to their own bodies. Millions of people are addicted to drugs, whether they be illegal or prescription. It is not a matter of defeating the drugs themselves but helping people recover so that they do not turn to drugs once again. 

In this era, particularly with how much stigma against mentally ill and drug-addicted people still exists, it is important not to lose sight of what truly matters. Harbor Health isn’t trying to simply get rid of the addiction and then throw people back onto the streets. By addressing the root problems that caused the addiction and reestablishing the normalcy in their lives, something that was desperately needed, Harbor Health restores its patients to healthy individuals. 

There is much to be said about changing in the face of adversity, and the last few years have certainly illustrated the drastic changes that need to be made in order to properly take care of the more vulnerable people in the United States. Harbor Health Integrated stands as an example of what determination and a willingness to go the extra mile for patients can accomplish. As more people are aided by its unique system, it could become the standard for recovery care across the nation.