Government Alcohol Abuse Treatment
Some of the biggest roadblocks for many seeking treatment for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) is access to and cost of treatment programs. Luckily, there are many government programs available that provide resources and help to those suffering from alcoholism.
Government Alcoholism Treatment
Approximately 3 million Americans get help for addiction to drugs and alcohol every year. Unfortunately, that’s only 10% of the 22.7 million Americans who need treatment, a number that grows higher every year.
Alcoholism is a serious problem across the United States, and all levels of government (state, federal, and local) have programs dedicated to combating the disease. As early as 2005, government agencies spent a combined $468 Billion every year on alcohol and drug abuse related costs, more than 10% of all government spending. While many programs are focused on helping the alcoholic recover, many others specialize in helping families of alcoholics and communities who have been harmed by substance abuse. Many other programs are designed to help prevent substance abuse. The services provided range wildly, from subsidized treatment to school education.
One of the largest government agencies that provides alcohol treatment resources is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, better known as SAMHSA. SAMHSA aims to reduce substance abuse rates through many campaigns and initiatives, including providing one of the most comprehensive and widely-used lists of treatment programs.
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Federal Alcoholism Treatment Options
Substance abuse has been one of the most pressing issues facing every administration since at least the early 20th Century. The federal government invests billions of dollars every year into combating drug and alcohol addiction. Much of this is spent on law enforcement, but far more is spent on providing health care and treatment. While there are many different programs, the vast majority of this funding comes from Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare. While many rehabs accept government funding, not all do, so it is important to check before beginning treatment.
Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare and Medicaid are both federal and state-funded insurance programs, and both cover alcohol treatment assistance. Medicare is designed for low-income families, especially those living below the poverty line. Medicaid is designed for Americans who are 65 years or older and those with disabilities. Medicare and Medicaid coverage and eligibility varies from state to state; for example, some states cover more days in rehab than others.
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Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits
Tragically, alcoholism is especially prevalent among veterans, many of whom begin drinking heavily as a way to cope with the high levels of stress and trauma they experienced in the military. The VA offers programs designed specifically to deal with alcohol use disorders, but just as importantly provides therapies and counseling for such co-occurring disorders as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, chronic pain, and sleep disorders. In order to be as inclusive as possible, the VA offers daytime, nighttime, and weekend options, as well as residential treatment.
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Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare)
The Affordable Care Act included mental health and addiction treatment as one of its ten essential health benefits, which means that individuals can no longer be denied coverage or charged more if they suffer from alcoholism or other related conditions. Every ACA plan offers different services, but some of the types of treatment that are covered include screenings, medication, counseling, detox, and rehab.
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State Alcoholism Treatment Options
Many states offer their own alcoholism treatment programs in addition to what is provided by the Federal Government. Every state is different, and the level and type of services varies tremendously from one location to the next. State treatment services are often highly sought out due to factors such as availability and cost, and consequently often have long waiting lists. To fill in the gaps, some states offer interim care options that help individuals with alcohol use disorders improve their lives and health while waiting for more comprehensive treatment.
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Local Government Alcoholism Treatment Options
Many local governments, including counties, parishes, cities, and townships, offer alcoholism treatment programs and services as well. This is especially true in major metropolitan areas. Generally, local government alcoholism treatment options are less comprehensive than state and federal programs, but this is not always the case. The local health department in your area is a good place to find information, as many programs are run through them.
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