Featured News: The Continuing Gaps in Coverage for Addiction Treatment

Certain insurance plans are legally required to cover benefits for addiction treatment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A new report by Center on Addiction shows that ACA Plans sold in many states in 2017 did not comply with these requirements. The report, Uncovering Coverage Gaps II: A Review and Comparison of Addiction Benefits in ACA Plans, demonstrates the need for policymakers to better implement and enforce laws that are meant to prohibit discriminatory insurance practices and ensure patients and families are able to obtain lifesaving care that is affordable.

“Most patients and their families cannot afford or receive care if it is not covered by their insurance plan. Improving insurance coverage for addiction treatment is essential to resolve the opioid crisis and move toward an approach where we finally treat addiction as the disease it is,” said the report’s author, Lindsey Vuolo, Director of Health Law and Policy at Center on Addiction.

In this Q&A, Vuolo explains how the report was compiled, what it found and what it means for families.

Full story at drugfree.org

Key brain area plays a crucial role in addiction

New research finds that the cerebellum, a large part of the human brain that scientists thought was primarily involved in motor control, may play a key role in reward-seeking and social behaviors. The findings may help inform future therapies for treating addiction.

Recent research has hinted at the fact that, in addition to movement, the brain’s cerebellum may also help to control cognitive functions, such as language, learning, and attention.

Now, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY, suggest that this area could also regulate reward-processing and addiction.

Full story at Medical News Today

Meth’s Resurgence Spotlights Lack Of Meds To Combat The Addiction

In 2016, news reports warned the public of an opioid epidemic gripping the nation.

But Madeline Vaughn, then a lead clinical intake coordinator at the Houston-based addiction treatment organization Council on Recovery, sensed something different was going on with the patients she checked in from the street.

Their behavior, marked by twitchy suspicion, a poor memory and the feeling that someone was following them, signaled that the people coming through the center’s doors were increasingly hooked on a different drug: methamphetamine.

Full story at Kaiser News

What are the treatments for addiction?

Addictive disorders are a group of disorders that can cause physical and psychological damage. Receiving treatment is essential for breaking the cycle of addiction.

However, as a chronic disease, addiction is difficult to treat and requires on-going care.

In the United States, around 8.1 percent of the population, or 21.7 million people, either need or regularly receive treatment for substance use disorders, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

First steps

The first step towards recovery is acknowledging that substance use has become a problem in the person’s life which is disrupting the quality of their life. This can result from impairment in school, work, social, recreational or other important areas of function.

Full story at Medical News Today

Google Restricts Ads for Addiction Treatment

Google has announced it is restricting ads for addiction treatment. “We found a number of misleading experiences among rehabilitation treatment centers that led to our decision,” a company spokeswoman said.

Prosecutors and health advocates have warned that many online searches for addiction treatment lead people to click on ads for rehab centers that are not suited to help them, or may even endanger their lives, according to The New York Times. Many rehab centers buy ads that would come up when someone searched for phrases such as “alcohol treatment centers” or “drug rehab.”

Full story at drugfree.org