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Ever since the United States Congress passed the Health Care Reform bill, I’ve been curious what the impact of the bill will be on alcohol/substance abuse treatment and prevention services. Slowly, more information is becoming available on this matter.

According to the Legal Action Center, all of the new plans that are created “will be required to cover mental health and substance use disorder services.” Specifically,

  • Addiction and mental health benefits will be provided in the same manner as all other basic medical care.
  • A national prevention council will be created with the leadership of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
  • There will be a new fund for public health and prevention that will distribute $15 billion over the course of 10 years in order to promote prevention in homes, schools and workplaces. (more…)
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As the United States continues to struggle with health care reform and the economy remains in rough shape, a number of people are finding themselves in difficult situations. These circumstances have put some individuals willing to seek substance abuse treatment at a disadvantage, as they do not have insurance to cover their treatment and may not qualify for alternative methods of payment.

“An estimated 3 million full-time workers in America without health insurance needed substance use treatment in the past year, according to a national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).”EHS Today

Just about 12% of those in need are able to receive treatment. Successful substance abuse treatment results in safer and more productive workplaces and better personal lives. The article states that for every dollar invested in substance abuse treatment, there are $7 that then benefit society in a variety of ways. To read the study, click here.

The country’s inability to serve the other 88% of the 3 million is an injustice and must find a place in our health care reform.

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