FREEDOM FROM ADDICTION FOUNDATION, INC
Freedom From Addiction Foundation, Inc. (FFA) is dedicated to fighting addiction, promoting recovery, and assisting suffering family members.
The FFA vision is to be nationally active in the prevention and education of addiction, and the recovery and support of those who are affected by addiction.
Addiction affects the world at a rapidly growing rate. It harms our families, friends, schools, economy and the overall growth and well being of the nation. As the number of teens using drugs and alcohol increases their dreams and ambitions are compromised. Their education suffers and positive influences become meaningless. This coupled with a lack of prevention education, healthy living skills and financial support leaves people hopeless. FFA is here to:
• Give educational support to rehabilitation centers, and to individuals
• Provide educational programs and speaking forums for schools and neighborhoods
• Spread recovery literature to schools, prisons, treatment centers and hospitals
• Develop district advisors to increase understanding and awareness of a wide range of recovery resources and alternatives
• Engage the use of media to reach a maximum number of people to promote the mission
• Give support to special needs of specific addiction cases
• Distribute films of how some communities are successfully confronting and educating their children to resist the available drugs
• Conduct on-site outreach at events and gatherings where addiction may be at play (i.e. raves, nightclubs, festivals, etc)
FFA will accomplish these goals by:
• Reching out to the community through radio broadcasts and podcasts to educate the general public on addiction
• Providing updated information on news and addiction related projects
• Hosting online support programs for individuals and groups who are in recovery, searching for recovery or needing help in living with someone in recovery
• Deploying an application process for those who need treatment and financial support
• Developing programs (with professionals and recovering addicts) on prevention and resistance to drugs and other addictive behaviors
• Supporting nationwide call-in forums which will discuss and answer questions regarding addiction and life skills
Our team of people is well educated and passionate about turning today’s statistics around and fully supporting the process of education and success in addiction recovery.
Founder and president Baldwin Smith was born July 4, 1943, and raised in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from Harvard University in 1965 where he earned a BA in Economics and played intercollegiate hockey and baseball. He earned an MBA from Columbia University in 1967 and began working as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley for the next two and a half years, working on public offerings, mergers, and a variety of other corporate finance activities. He then joined Goldman Sachs where he dealt with financial institutions in the sales and trading of equity securities for 27 years. He then chose to work with a long-time friend and founder of Invemed Associates and co-founder of Home Depot, Ken Langone. Baldwin spent eight years at Invemed specializing in securities sales, corporate finance work and private investments. Baldwin retired in 2003.
Debbie Strand is a long term resident of Florida who struggled with alcoholism and addiction for 25 years. She is active in several recovery programs and is heavily focused on meeting the needs of the recovery community. Through service work, outreach and ministry to others in recovery Debbie helps recovering addicts come to terms with their disease and begin the process of healing. Debbie serves as the Executive Director of FFA and reports to Baldwin Smith, handling corporate matters as well as case management, outbound programs, interstate awareness and communications.
The need for FFA is not only overwhelming, but also shocking. Addiction is out of control, it is a fact of life, and there is a blatant lack of response to this disease in the USA.
The American Medical Association estimates 25-40% of patients occupying general hospital beds are there for treatment of ailments that result from alcoholism. In the United States the economic cost of alcohol abuse exceeds $115 billion dollars a year and keeps growing. It goes on to say alcohol should not be judged as a problem with willpower, misconduct, or any other unscientific diagnosis. The problem should be accepted for what it is- a biopsychosocial disease, with a strong genetic influence, obvious signs and symptoms, a natural progression and fatal outcome if not treated.
Almost 20 million Americans age twelve and up have used illegal drugs in the last month. The majority of these people are not on the streets; of over 17 million drug users age 18 and older 75% are employed either full time or part time.
The American Drug Counsel for drug education estimates there are 10 million alcoholics in the U.S. Nearly one in five (4.5 million) teens have tried prescription medication such as Vicodin and Oxy-Cotin to get high and are problem drinkers. The average age of first use is eleven years old. Of the children who first use alcohol or other substances at the age eleven, a shocking 65 percent are later classified as addicts.
Due to these and other dramatic statistics there is obviously a great need for prevention and treatment programs. There are a large number of treatment facilities (inpatient and outpatient) to accommodate this population. Unfortunately the price is very high. Insurance companies may cover on average 30 days of inpatient mental health per year and 30 days outpatient mental health per year. They may cover on average 30 days of inpatient for substance abuse, which falls under hospitalization with a deductable of approximately $2,500 per year; as well as 20 days of outpatient for substance abuse per year (also up to seven days of detox per year). Statistically the rate of successful recovery requires up to 3 months in an inpatient treatment facility along with intensive outpatient and a sober living environment for up to a year. The goal is to create and maintain a complete change in lifestyle.
Our short-term goals include:
• Developing prevention programs for schools and communities
• Growing our nationwide radio programs and call-in forums for awareness and support
• Growing an intensive website providing resources and support
FFA will apply for grants that will support individuals and treatment centers and will solicit support from the general public, and distribute recovery literature and documentaries.
FFA fundraising strategies shall include enjoyable ways to bring about awareness and support, including:
• Silent auctions
• Golf tournaments
• Healing/health cruises with motivational speakers
• Fundraising walks.
FFA long-term goals are to spread this outreach to the national market and beyond, and to develop a full staff to execute the components of the overall mission.
All the individuals who are involved in the FFA mission are full dedicated to making a difference in the world through addiction awareness and prevention and will continue our efforts to help and support all who reach out.