Though addiction – be it to alcohol or drugs – has been recognized has a disease for years, many still look down on those with substance abuse problems. This discrimination has not been limited to the general public, either. The decision-makers in the healthcare industry have also been slow to recognize that addicts need support – just as people with heart disease and diabetes do.
Recently, though, The Washington Post reported that, within the next year, Medicaid will be expanding its services to cover substance abuse intervention and rehabilitation programs. This, the source notes, would enable millions of people to seek treatment for addiction.
"There is no illness currently being treated that will be more affected by the Affordable Care Act than addiction […] because we have a system of treatment that was built for a time when they didn't understand that addiction was an illness," Treatment Research Institute CEO Tom McLellan explained.
The news outlet voiced concerns about whether existing treatment centers will be able to handle the potential influx of patients who finally have the means to get help.
Time will tell how this expansion in coverage will affect these facilities, but it does signify that addiction is increasingly being perceived as the real and life-altering disease that it is.
Do you have a loved one who is battling alcoholism or a drug abuse problem? If so, you may feel powerless to help – even worried that your actions may make things worse. But, with the help of our professional interventionists, you can confront your friend or family member's addiction directly and help them get the treatment they need and provide long-term support as they recover.