The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that roughly 23.5 million Americans suffer from substance abuse. They also estimate that out of that figure, only 11 percent receives treatment. If these numbers seem shocking to you, it’s because they are.
Despite numerous studies that show how addiction is more like a chronic disease rather than a moral failing, there is still a stigma attached to seeking help for substance abuse problems. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, it became a requirement for insurance companies to provide coverage for rehab. This small step reduces the negative stigma associated with addiction, helping millions of Americans get their help.
In addition to the personal damage and trauma that addiction and substance abuse can cause, there is also a national side effect damaging our economy. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that $700 billion per year is spent on costs associated with addiction. By making treatment more readily available, the benefits will trickle down and help the economy.
When a person enters a rehab facility for substance abuse, it’s important to focus on recovery and working towards sobriety. Worrying about paying the full amount for treatment is detrimental to recovery. Addressing the uncomfortable causes of personal addiction is stressful. Adding the financial stress of treatment increases the chances of relapse. By providing coverage for mental health and addiction issues, patients can recover in peace without the burden of paying the full amount.