Government Treatment For Alcoholism
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An estimated 22.7 million Americans ages 12 and older are in need of treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, only about three million people actually receive the help they need each year.
With a growing number of people suffering from alcohol use disorders (AUDs), the federal government and individual states are focusing on affordable treatment services. Not only do many of these programs help individuals, they also provide assistance to family members, friends and community members. When neighborhoods work together to educate families and children about the effects of alcohol abuse, they build a better tomorrow for future generations.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is one of the largest government agencies that provides alcohol and substance abuse treatment resources. The agency works to reduce drug and alcohol abuse rates across the nation through numerous campaigns and initiatives. For example, SAMHSA’s comprehensive list of treatment programs is widely used by individuals and loved ones who are researching local recovery services.
Even with the large number of alcoholism treatment resources available, SAMHSA has found that too few people receive treatment for overcoming an AUD. Much of this is due to barriers ranging from financial hardships to lack of vacation time at work or other obligations. However, by putting treatment on the backburner, you’re putting your health and well-being at risk. Leaving an AUD untreated can cause your drinking problem to worsen and lead to a multitude of physical and emotional complications.
Government services and federal assistance are available for those seeking alcoholism treatment. Call us now to learn more about your options.
Federal Support Options for Alcoholism
Over the past several decades, government officials have invested billions of dollars in federal funding to increase the availability and affordability of alcohol treatment services. In doing so, officials are hopeful that more people will seek help for alcoholism.
While an increasing number of treatment options are becoming available, some individuals are still hesitant when finances come into play. Luckily, there are different government resources that can help offset the upfront costs of treatment. Many cover all or a portion of inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, counseling sessions, medication-assisted therapies and ongoing treatment services.
Here are several federal support options for alcoholism:
Medicare and Medicaid
As federal and state-funded health insurance programs, Medicare and Medicaid offer alcohol treatment assistance to those in need. Medicare is a program that helps low-income families who are living below the poverty line. Medicaid, on the other hand, provides insurance to those ages 65 and older, as well as disabled individuals. Typically, each state determines eligibility criteria and the amount of money disbursed. For instance, a health plan may only cover rehab for a certain number of days or based on a patient’s health condition. It’s important to note that some rehab facilities may not accept Medicaid or Medicare as a form of payment, so check with your program before beginning treatment.
Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits
After leaving the military, some veterans turn to alcohol as a means of feeling relaxed and easing the mind. This unfortunately has led to many cases of alcoholism. To help veterans overcome an AUD and get back on their feet, the Veterans Administration (VA) offers various types of treatment options. The programs and therapies provided to veterans are specialized to help them work through any underlying matters like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), disturbed sleep, depression or pain. To accommodate varying schedules, programs have daytime, evening or weekend options. In addition, some programs offer residential treatment for veterans that live far from a VA clinic or do not have a stable home environment.
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), individuals who suffer from alcoholism have more treatment options than ever before. Mental health services and addiction treatment are now part of the ten essential health benefits, meaning that individuals can no longer be denied coverage or charged more because of substance abuse disorders, including AUDs. Types of treatment covered under ACA include screenings, medication, counseling, and also help with some detox and rehab costs. Each health insurance plan covers different services, so be sure to check into what’s included in your policy before deciding on a treatment center.
State-funded Alcohol Treatment Services
Along with federal assistance for AUD treatment, there are also state-funded programs that provide an array of services. While some states offer rehab programs on a first-come, first-serve basis, others give priority based on a person’s health condition and need for treatment. Since treatment waiting lists can take a couple of weeks to several months, some states have established interim care options like group counseling and other outpatient services. These help prevent people from falling back into old drinking habits while waiting for treatment.
Generally, state-funded treatment services require the following information:
- Proof of residence
- Legal residence in the U.S.
- Information about your AUD
With the help of federal assistance and grants, many states are developing new initiatives to prevent and treat alcoholism. This will allow more people to access quality care services and get the proper treatment they need to overcome an AUD.
In 2016, the government spent roughly $12 million to improve residential substance abuse treatment programs in correctional facilities and other community-based programs that work with probationers and parolees.
Each year, roughly $1 billion of government funds is spent on outreach programs to educate adolescents about substance abuse and prevent them from experimenting with drugs.
The U.S. government spent an estimated $14 billion on early intervention, treatment and recovery services in 2016.
Find Treatment Now
Many federal government and state officials are taking action to help create affordable and accessible treatment programs.
If you do not have health insurance or cannot afford treatment, speak with a recovery specialist now.
- Author — Last Edited: August 7, 2018
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Treatment Programs for Substance Use Problems. November 2016. http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/res-vatreatmentprograms.asp
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. October 2016. https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). October 2016. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/drug-addiction-treatment-in-united-states
Benefits.gov. Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. October 2016. https://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/871
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Substance Abuse Treatment Program Locator. October 2016. https://healthfinder.gov/FindServices/SearchContext.aspx?topic=830
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (2015). Self-Help/Recovery Support Groups. October 2016. https://www.ncadd.org/people-in-recovery/hope-help-and-healing/self-help-recovery-support-groups