With the dramatic rise in drug abuse and addiction in the United States, how is the substance abuse rehab industry evolving in order to answer the call?
What was once termed the “War on Drugs” has now evolved into a monster most people never saw coming. It seems that each day we hear stories of new records in overdose deaths having been set. From coast to coast, the U.S. has a first row view of a heroin and opioid epidemic that continues to reach epic proportions. Even in this time of political turmoil like never before, the one area that congress can actually build unified agreement on is the necessity to overhaul drug addiction and related legislation.
The truth of the matter is that issues of substance abuse have always been the worst in the United States, and probably will remain as such as long as we’re the richest population on earth. However, we can all pretty much agree that whether the topic is heroin and opioid pain killers, cocaine, methamphetamine or the latest and greatest club drugs creating zombies in the street, the drug addiction epidemic has surprised even the skeptics.
Have you heard the story of the small town in Ohio that had to rent out an airplane hanger at a local airport because the town morgue ran out of body space? I wonder how many other small U.S. towns have had to take similar steps?
So okay, we can all agree that something has to be done! Oh but hold on, while all this drug addiction and overdosing is happening from Mayberry to Manhattan, there is a simultaneous epidemic of drug rehab centers being raided and shut down for matters involving insurance fraud and patient brokering. Ahh yes…God Bless America!
Seriously, something has to be done! How do drug treatment centers and other such recovery services intend to answer this necessary and immediate call?
To add even further complexity to the matter, insurance companies, for the most part, are paying less and less for residential addiction treatment services today than ever before.
From my perspective however, there is some element of hope on the horizon. Given the evolution of residential (inpatient) drug rehab to what is now referred to as PHP or “The Florida Model,” resulting in lower costing treatment by comparison, I think we’re moving in the right direction. Add to that the expansion of physicians being able to prescribe Suboxone for those struggling with heroin and opioid pain killers, and we might begin to see some light at then end of the tunnel, that is, assuming the physicians aren’t prescribing Suboxone in the same manner they were prescribing oxycontin and percocet in Florida’s pill mills.
This article could obviously be turned into a 600 page novel and no profound answers are going to come of it, but just the fact that our society’s awareness of the matter has grown to epic proportions means that some serious steps are going to be taken, one way or the other.
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