Eager to challenge the accepted norms of traditional medical organizations, licensed therapist Berni Fried has dedicated her career to advancing treatment methods for people who are struggling with addiction. In the following interview, A Gathering of Experts asks Berni Fried about the epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse that has ravaged communities throughout the United States.
A Gathering of Experts: Thanks for offering your thoughts to us today. Welcome, Ms. Fried.
Berni Fried: I’m grateful for the invitation.
A Gathering of Experts: We’re looking at some of the most recent statistics regarding drug and alcohol abuse in America.
Berni Fried: It’s frightening, to be honest.
A Gathering of Experts: What are the latest numbers?
Berni Fried: At this writing, 40 million people in the United States have fallen under the clinical criteria for drug or alcohol addiction.
A Gathering of Experts: That’s unbelievable…
Berni Fried: What’s most remarkable is that this figure exceeds the total number of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes, cancer or heart conditions.
A Gathering of Experts: Wow. I had no idea. From what type of research do you draw these numbers?
Berni Fried: Quite simply, alcohol, tobacco products and other drugs have proven to be a dangerous aspect of our society.
A Gathering of Experts: How so?
Berni Fried: The usage of these drugs can provoke disturbing behavior patterns that threaten public safety.
A Gathering of Experts: Where do professionals like physicians and therapists serve in the fight against these habits?
Berni Fried: The improvement of these efforts depends on the availability of proper treatments and solutions.
A Gathering of Experts: Are services readily available?
Berni Fried: In most cases, the answer is no. Only about 10 percent of these diagnosable individuals are receiving the treatment they need.
A Gathering of Experts: How can the medical community correct these problems?
Berni Fried: It’s important for professionals to access proper training to learn the procedures necessary for diagnosing the disease.
A Gathering of Experts: Is this a common need?
Berni Fried: Most professionals these days who are offering addiction care are not equipped with the proper skill set to do so, in my opinion.
A Gathering of Experts: How can they make the right adjustments?
Berni Fried: First and foremost is to clear up any misunderstandings about addiction and then connect it with mainstream medical practice.
A Gathering of Experts: What do you mean by that exactly?
Berni Fried: If addiction treatment were completely integrated into the existing systems of health care, those struggling with drug addiction would be in a much better position to change their lives.
A Gathering of Experts: Who are the leading forces in this movement?
Berni Fried: At the forefront are health care providers who offer preliminary services and make the initial diagnosis.
A Gathering of Experts: What kind of support should they expect?
Berni Fried: Other vital sources of support and guidance along this journey include nurse practitioners, social workers, physiologists, psychologists and medical assistants.
A Gathering of Experts: We appreciate you taking up this cause.
Berni Fried: Greater knowledge could save lives. It’s as simple as that.
As a trusted and highly respected professional in her field, Berni Fried invites potential clients to her private practice. Berni Fried continues to build her network of industry experts in order to increase her clients’ successful outcomes in treatment.