There are multiple paths to help those struggling with addiction receive treatment. Depending on the structure of the treatment program, in-patient treatment is likely the most expensive. For those with private or employer provided health insurance, that plan will likely have an addiction recovery payment requirement.
It’s The Law
Addiction rehab is covered under the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, treatment for addiction is covered under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, launched in 2014.
Depending on the structure of the insurance plan, some or all of the addiction treatment program will need to be covered by the health insurance program. State law can impact the required percentage of coverage, but as a general rule, insurance companies such as Blue Cross have benefit packages that should cover between 60% and 90% of the addiction treatment plan.
Addiction Treatment And Privacy Rights
Because addiction is a serious and possibly fatal medical condition, the ACA rules requiring coverage enable addicts in need of dedicated, in-house treatment the right to break away from the everyday life and focus on mental and physical healing. Addiction treatment facilities and programs are covered by the same privacy protections as any other medical treatment.
Time away for in-house addiction treatment can be covered by FMLA leave.
Benefits For Society
Substance abuse and addiction destroy marriages, damage family relationships and tear at the fabric of society. People who are married are less likely to develop dangerous addictions, but rates of substance abuse go up after divorce.
Benefits For Business
As noted above, alcohol and drug addiction can be fatal. In addition, the path to a fatal level of addiction can leave a lot of wreckage, including damage to relationships with family and friends and the utter destruction of a career.
Businesses both large and small are required to offer some form of FMLA, which can be used for in-house addiction treatment. As with insurance regulations, these FMLA rules can change from state to state.
Addiction and Mental Illness
Unfortunately, both addiction and mental health challenges are highly stigmatized. Those seeking disruptive mental health issues may not be willing to seek professional help and can find themselves self-medicating with legal and illegal mood-altering substances.
One of the challenges faced by those offering in-patient drug treatment is the unravelling of the combination of mental illness and addiction. If the patient is found to have a dual diagnosis, the treatment plan will need to be expanded and the patient may be referred for other treatment under the care of a psychiatrist.
Addiction and Incarceration
As with many health challenges, leaving addiction untreated early in the progression of the disease extracts a high price as the condition advances. In the case of a severely addicted person, withdrawal is a dangerous process that should be carefully monitored by medical professionals, and jail staff are often not trained in how to treat someone in the grip of withdrawal.
Additionally, prison as a method of addiction treatment is simply not effective. Nearly all imprisoned offenders will return to some form of substance abuse after prison. In an effort to either gain access to the drug or money for the drug, over half will commit new crimes.
Addiction is an illness that needs to come into the light of day as a serious health issue. By considering issues of both addiction and mental health as part of a healthy lifestyle rather than as shameful conditions to be shunned, our society can have an honest conversation about the pain of both of these conditions.