Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation in the United States

“Drug treatment saves $19,000 per patient in crime-related costs in the year following treatment (1997 estimate). Compared with the costs of treatment for addiction ($2,828 for methadone maintenance, $8,920 for residential treatment, and $2,908 for outpatient drug-free treatment) drug treatment can offer immense savings”

Financial Cost of Addictive Disorders, Treatments for Addiction, Effectiveness and Cost Analysis, Dr. Brian Jackson, Greenfield Center, Jacksonville Florida

The National Institute on Drug Abuse now states that 23.2 million persons (9.4 percent of the U.S. population) aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2007.

According to Dr. Jackson’s publication, the benefits of treatments can be evaluated by considering two main aspects, the effectiveness of the treatment and the cost effectiveness of the treatment.

Finding Treatment in the United States

For information on hotlines, counseling services, or treatment options in your State, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1–800–662–HELP (4357)!

Treatments for substance abuse, drug or alcohol addiction are delivered in different settings, and use a variety of behavioral and medicinal approaches depending on the individual circumstances.

Drug addiction is a complex disorder that involves every aspect of an individual’s functioning. Including family, work, school, the community, and at home.

Because of addiction’s complexity and pervasive consequences, drug addiction treatment typically must involve many components. Some of those components focus directly on the individual’s drug use; others, like employment training, focus on restoring the addicted individual to productive membership in the family and society.

Finding the right treatment center.

Treatment and rehab for substance abuse in the United States can be found in more than 14,500 specialized drug treatment centers that provide counseling, behavioral therapy, medication, case management, and other services to those with substance use disorders affecting their lives.

Along with specialized drug and alcohol treatment centers, patients may be treated in physicians’ offices or mental health hospitals by counselors, physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, or other staff.

Outpatient, Inpatient, or Residential Treatment

Treatment can be in outpatient, inpatient, and residential environments. Specific treatment approaches are usually combined with specific treatment environments.

Local, State, and Federal Government Funding for Treatment and Rehab

A large portion of drug treatment is funded by local, State, and Federal governments. Depending on the state that you live in there may be numerous options at your disposal. For options in your State, call 1–800–662–HELP (4357)!

Insurance for Rehabilitation

Private and employer-subsidized health insurance also may provide coverage for treatment of addiction and its medical consequences.

Affordable Care Law and Treatment

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

All Marketplace insurance plans cover mental health and substance abuse services as an essential health benefit.

Mental and behavioral health services are essential health benefits

Health insurance plans available in the Marketplace must cover 10 categories of essential health benefits. One of these categories is mental health and substance abuse services. (Substance abuse is also known as substance use disorder.)

These services include behavioral health treatment, such as psychotherapy and counseling. They also include mental and behavioral health inpatient services and substance use disorder treatment.

Your specific behavioral health benefits will depend on the state you live in and the particular health plan you choose. You’ll see a full list of what each plan covers when you compare plans in the Marketplace.

Mental and behavioral health and pre-existing conditions

Marketplace plans can’t deny you coverage or charge you more just because you have a pre-existing condition. This includes mental health and substance use disorder conditions.

Coverage for treatment of pre-existing conditions begins as soon as your Marketplace coverage starts.

There’s no waiting period for coverage of these services.

No lifetime or yearly dollar limits for mental health services

Marketplace plans can’t apply yearly or lifetime dollar limits on coverage of essential health benefits. This includes benefits for mental health and substance use disorder services.

Parity protections for mental health services

Marketplace plans must provide certain “parity” protections between mental health and substance abuse benefits on the one hand, and medical and surgical benefits on the other.

This means that in general, limits applied to mental health and substance abuse services can’t be more restrictive than limits applied to medical and surgical services. The kinds of limits covered by the parity protections include:

  • Financial, like deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket limits
  • Treatment, like limits to the number of days or visits covered
  • Care management, like being required to get authorization of treatment before getting it

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