Posted by Bill Selzer on Oct 24, 2023
RAG AP – Rotary Action Group for Addiction Prevention was formed to address the nation’s addiction crisis.  President of the Union Grove Rotary Club, Dr. Ken Kurt a retired osteopathic physician and surgeon gave a presentation on the addiction epidemic our country faces today. He currently serves as the Chairman of Smart Recovery Action Group Addiction Prevention. The group is engaged in school education, medication and drug disposal, awareness, recovery, and treatment programs.
“Addiction is a disease; it is a behavior or physical need – not a moral problem.”
“Addiction is complicated.”
“Addiction is associated with dysfunctional reward pathways in the brain."
Repeated use of a drug...
changes the wiring of the brain, leading to impaired judgement, decision-making, and impulse control. Addiction can be understood as a three-stage cycle involving binge/intoxication, withdrawal/negative affect, and preoccupation/anticipation. Addiction involves craving for something intensely, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.
Dr. Kurt shared his experience and knowledge with highly addictive drugs like oxycontin and fentanyl. Over the past two decades abuse of these drugs has led to addiction, overdose, and early death. His brother died at 58 years old from heart failure due to cardiovascular disease and complications brought on by his brother’s use of cocaine. Effects of drug abuse can surface in later years causing a poor quality of life and premature death.
The Rotarian S.M.A.R.T program is a multi-prong approach of:
  • School education – start educating children on the effects of addiction.
  • Medication and Drug Disposal – assist communities in conducting disposal programs.
  • Awareness – assist in bringing awareness programs to all.
  • Recovery – help support community-based programs.
  • Treatment – become aware of programs and available treatment information that can be shared in the education process.
Dr. Kurt would like to see the Elmbrook and other local clubs join together to sponsor a Rotarian S.M.A.R.T. program presentation to educate the clubs on addiction disorders and how to get involved in the process of eradicating this epidemic.
Thank you, Dr. Kurt, for sharing your experience and knowledge on this topic.