Updated May 2021
With a lineage that consists of two U. S. presidents, a U.S. senator, two governors, the president of the major industrial manufacturer, and several successful businessmen, one would not expect to find a drug addict on any branch of the respected Bush family tree. However, Noelle Lucila Bush is an addict. Jeb Bush speaks on daughter Noelle Bush’s drug addiction to address the challenges that he and his family have encountered while coping with his daughter’s disease. As the only daughter of Republican Presidential candidate John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, Noelle has endured a long and trying struggle with drug addiction. In today’s society, substance abuse knows no boundaries. Regardless of gender, race, and socioeconomic status, the allure of illicit substances continues to have a strong magnetic pull over a significant portion of the population.
What are Opioids and What Do They Do?
Opioids include both prescription drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl, or illicit drugs like heroin. Despite their prescription, prescribed opioids are just as addictive as any other drug. They work by attaching themselves to opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS), activating a chemical called dopamine to requiring release. Dopamine is responsible for producing euphoria and pleasure, and it’s naturally released by the body when we do something we enjoy. Opioid abused forces this process to produce a very addictive high.
Abusing opioids can lead to a variety of mental and physical problems. The resulting addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disease that alternates the brain’s mechanisms due to sustained drug use.
Some signs and symptoms of opioid addiction include :
- Persistent desire or unsuccessful effort to stop or reduce the use of the substance
- Lack of behavioral control (overwhelming cravings, taking undue risks, etc.)
- Inability to recognize significant behavior and relationship problems
- Inappropriate emotional responses
- Isolation from loved ones
- Changes in friend groups (spending more time with people who also abuse drugs or alcohol)
- Drug paraphernalia like needles, burnt spoons, or empty pill bottles
Without a proper opioid or pain pills detox in Palm Beach like ours, addiction often involves spiraling between relapse and remission. This never-ending cycle places an enormous amount of stress on a family. But, when your family is in the public eye, the additional pressures are unimaginable. Due to Noelle Bush’s drug addiction, her struggle serves as an eye-opening experience for the man who was once a presidential hopeful.
Noelle Bush on Drugs: How it Began
Noelle did not wake up one morning and decide to use heroin. However, she did become a statistic in the opiate crisis that is wreaking havoc in the country. In 2019, an estimated 10.1 million people ages 12 and older misused opioids in that year. This includes 9.7 million people who misused painkillers and 745,000 people who used heroin.1 The transition from a prescription for OxyContin to heroin is not a difficult one. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, approximately 75 percent of people addicted to opioids will switch to heroin as a cheaper alternative.2
The two major reasons for the switch between prescription opioids to heroin are ease of access and lower costs. This also introduces even greater dangers. Because heroin is illegal and unregulated, it can be laced with anything. Heroin cutting agents can include a variety of other substances like household cleaners and paint thinner. This means that users are virtually unaware of exactly what they are putting in their bodies. They can quickly become addicted and before they realize it, they will need a professional heroin detox treatment to quit.
Jeb Bush’s Strategy: Tackling the Addiction Problem
The current efforts to curb the opioid epidemic began in 1989 when a group of concerned professionals came together to address the drug epidemic by forming the first drug court. The idea was simple; to stop treating substance abusers as criminals and to recognize that they were facing a disease that requires more help than just jail time. The concept of combining medical professionals with the judiciary system to create an opioid treatment program that could break the continual recovery-relapse loop was revolutionary. While drug courts have proven to be very effective, the exponential growth of substance abuse in the U. S. requires additional methods of combat.
Jeb Bush’s daughter and her drug addiction offered him a personal experience with the dangers of addiction. With Noelle Bush on drugs for most of her life, the next step was for her to receive addiction treatment. Noelle is an opioid addict, but she is also currently in recovery after successfully graduating from the drug court system. In a recent post, Jeb Bush not only addressed Noelle’s substance problems but also identified tactics for dealing with the opioid epidemic in the U.S.
Jeb Bushes’s strategy for the opioid epidemic includes:
Drug Addiction Prevention Programs
With drug addiction starting at younger ages, the best time for discussion is in early childhood. Before Noelle Bush was addicted to drugs, there was a missed opportunity for prevention. Children need to develop strong coping mechanisms so that drugs don’t appear as the only viable option for handling pressure.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) developed a list of the 16 principles for developing a prevention program. Some of the key factors are:3
- Enhance protective factors and reverse or reduce risk factors
- Address all forms of drug abuse
- Deal with the drug abuse in the local community
- Tailor program to address risks specific to population or audience characteristics
- Enhance family bonding and relationships
- Design the package to intervene as early as preschool
- Target improving academic and social-emotional learning to address risk factors for drug abuse (Elementary school students)
- Increase academic and social competence in various areas (Middle/High school students)
- Aim initiatives at general populations and key transition points, such as the transition to middle school
- Combine two or more effective programs, such as family-based and school-based programs
- Present consistent, community-wide message in multiple settings, including schools, clubs, faith-based organization, and the media
- Retain the core elements (Structure, Content, and Delivery) when adapted to meet the needs of the community
- Should be long-term with repeated interventions
- Include teacher training on good classroom management
- Employ interactive techniques
- Should be cost-effective
Adding Support to the Justice System
The justice system is littered with addicts and the mentally ill. While drug courts are helping, other options for dealing with addiction in the judicial system are needed. Drug courts provide an additional mechanism for dealing with the effects of addiction. Since their initial introduction in 1989, they have expanded to include courts dedicated to families, adults, veterans, DWI-related, and juveniles. Courts have also been established to deal with parolees’ reentries into the community after incarceration. These specific courts help with jobs, housing, and any other services that will keep the individuals drug-free. As of June 2015, over 3,000 drug courts are in operation in the United States.4 While drug courts are helping, other options for dealing with addiction in the judicial system are needed.
Drug seizures at the U. S. borders are constantly making headlines. While many governmental departments handle drug interdiction, Bush suggests that direct intervention from the highest offices would significantly improve border control. He affirms that the establishment of better relationships with the nations responsible for the majority of illicit substances will lessen the drug flow. Whether it’s better border patrol, guidelines, or coordination, stopping drugs before they enter this country is one of the best ways of reducing drug abuse.
Better Drug Recovery Programs
With Noelle Bush’s addiction and treatment, the last part of Bush’s strategy called for improvement in residential addiction treatment programs and recovery programs for drug addiction. At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches (BHOPB), we offer addiction treatment in Lake Worth designed to deal with addiction. In a warm and welcoming environment, we empower our patients with the tools that they need to manage and overcome their affliction.
We’re glad that Jeb Bush speaks on daughter Noelle Bush’s drug addiction and was honest about these struggles. Drug abuse is an ongoing problem in the U.S. and it’s important for people who are in the public to use their power to combat this issue. With intervention, detox, and holistic approaches, we can design a strategy that will help you become a better you. Noelle Bush is now in recovery from addiction. Let her journey encourage you to begin yours. For more information about a drug rehabilitation plan for you, call our drug and alcohol treatment center in Palm Beach at 561-220-3981.