According to experts, 87 percent of people in Wisconsin who are struggling with a drug addiction or dependency do not seek treatment. When the drug is alcohol the non-treatment figure rises to 95 percent.
Many addicts still feel ashamed of their past.
September marks National Recovery Month.
This month is a time to change the stigma of addiction and treat the root of the cause. Sometimes it's situational, other times it's chemical. Either way, Coulee Council on Addictions says September is the time for those wishing to kick their addiction to come out of the shadows.
An audience of supporters listens to very personal stories of a former addict, now 35 years in recovery. Therese Roellich is the activities director at Coulee Council and says thanks to intervention and support she was able to turn her life around.
"Everyone has their own bottom. I had what they might call a high bottom. I didn't lose my job. I didn't get a divorce. I had none of those bad things going on that people might think happens to an alcoholic but I lost myself and I lost my self esteem and I really didn't want to live anymore," said Roellich.
Cheryl Hancock says addiction in the Coulee Region is so bad now that people are coming in for help on behalf of their loved one living with addiction.
"The biggest thing that we're seeing recently is families needing help so their loved one is using or under the influence or having issues with substance misuse so they call us and they reach out to say what can we do and we have support groups," said Hancock.
Every September for the past 50 years, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration kicks off a month long event to bring to the light the magnitude of addiction and its destructive path to ruin families, communities and lives.
Coulee Council on Addictions hosts 52 support group meetings every month. All are welcome.