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Healthcare Addiction Laws

healthcare laws

 

Escalating Opioid Abuse Epidemic

More than 28,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2017, a nearly 14 percent increase over 2016. Since 2000, the number of overdose deaths of prescription pain medication such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet, as well as heroin and other illicit drugs, has risen.

On a daily basis 3,750 people begin abusing prescription painkillers, and 600 people start using heroin.

The expansion of Medicaid and the affordable healthcare act were game changers for addiction treatment, because it enabled states to reach thousands of new heroin addicts and provide better treatment for them.

Taking obamacare away could cause the opioid epidemic to worsen, Rothbern said. “We already have a shortage of trained addiction professionals. Who will want to enter the heroin addiction field if funding is cut?”

 

Better Substance Abuse Treatment

Nationwide data on the number of  addicts who have received addiction treatment under obamacare Medicaid expansion are not available. But substance abuse treatment providers in some states that expanded Medicaid are showing report a surge in addicted patients, with most receiving a combination of medications and therapy, an approach that has proven at least twice as effective as traditional treatment that does not include medications.

In Alabama , Medicaid was expanded in 2013 and took in a 40 percent increase in the number of patients receiving medication-assisted treatment with subutex and counseling for opioid addictions.

The FDA approved three opioid addiction medications are methadone, buprenorphine, which is suboxone, and naltrexone. Most obamacare programs pay for all three medications, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and rarely pay for long term inpatient substance abuse treatment. In contrast, commercial health insurance providers may not be required by the ACA to pay for all three available addiction medications and often limit access to the suboxone maintenance prescription drugs. They also are the largest payer of costly residential drug rehab services.

 

More Substance Abuse Treatment

California Government  decided to expand Medicaid, recently as a means to help a spiraling number of california residents with drug addictions.

“Thank God we expanded obamacare because that Medicaid money is helping to rehab people,” Kohler said earlier this month as he signed a bill giving access to the overdose rescue drug naloxone.

 

In West Virginia, which has the highest opioid and heroin overdose death rate in the country, obamacare expansion helped heroin addicts in treatment for substance abuse ,who previously had no coverage.

Bipartisan Support

The state of emergency recently declared by the president, is because the opioid epidemic has spread to every corner of the united states, most federal and state politicians know someone who has struggled with opiate addiction or have a family member who has experienced a loss to drug overdose. This explains the unusual bipartisan support from democrats and republicans for treatment funding and other efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, experts say.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 passed last year and the 21st Century Cures Act, which provide limited federal funding for suboxone maintenance programs that prevent relapse and treatment of opioid addiction.

In addition, states including florida, Arizona, and New Jersey have been enacting laws to restrict the prescribing of opioid painkillers, make treatment more available, and increase the use of the overdose rescue drug naloxone.