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Inpatient Treatment for Heroin Abuse Would be Funded Under Proposed House Bill


syringe 8-6-14

A bill introduced this week in the U.S. House would establish a federal grant program to fund inpatient treatment for heroin abuse, the Hartford Courant reports.

The Expanding Opportunities for Recovery Act is designed to increase access to inpatient drug treatment services for heroin and opioid abuse and addiction, its sponsors say. Under the bill, states could apply for grant funding to provide up to 60 days at a residential facility for people who do not have health insurance, or whose plans do not cover inpatient addiction treatment.

The bill was introduced by Representative Bill Foster of Illinois and Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, both Democrats. “The heroin and prescription drug epidemic is ripping apart families and our communities, but tragically, many folks face too many hurdles to access treatment,” Maloney said in a news release. “The Expanding Opportunities for Recovery Act will help turn the tide on the epidemic by expanding treatment options for our neighbors.”

Maloney noted that while inpatient rehabilitation is a proven effective treatment for opioid abuse, many people cannot afford such treatment because they lack health insurance. He added many insurance providers require patients to exhaust other options, such as outpatient treatment and counseling, before they will agree to cover inpatient treatment.

For an individual to qualify for inpatient treatment under the measure, they must either lack health insurance or have insurance that places a barrier to inpatient treatment, such as requiring that less expensive treatment be exhausted first.

10 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Brian
    Brian / August 21, 2014 at 4:44 am

    Good way, hope the day comes then addiction to drugs & alcohol could be stopped, whereby people will start thinking straight & will find innovative mediums to get out of stress or tension in life.

  2. Jacob / August 19, 2014 at 4:00 am

    This is exactly what is needed in my hometown of Ogden, Utah. The hospitals want money up front to admit a heroin user for treatment. There isnt anywhere else that has a detox center but the hospital. Its a sad story here

  3. Chuck / August 9, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    My friend Zac from the National Alliance of Recovery through Medicine send me a site
    where the bill is shown.

    Such a large drop out rate may not be about the patient, but about the program.
    It does not say a word about AA/NA. People need to realize that NA/AA was never treatment. It is a fellowship or society. It is the approach with the least evidence of effectiveness (and I question safety). Seventy more years of NA/AA is not going to change the statistics nor the evidence. NA/AA is a personal choice, not a treatment protocol, remember the 11th, 8th and 6 traditions? the House Bill says amongst other things:

    Lines 19-21 say “The services through the grant will be evidence-based such as medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder.”

    I suggest we all start studding a lot more science. If you know nothing about science or how to implement appropriate medical protocol (Once own experience does not count as science). If you seen or know of any study that shows that 90 days of Vivitrol after residential treatment makes a huge amount of difference, please show me the study and the references. Maybe I missed it. If I would be a provider and funded by this bill, I would probably give Vivitrol to patients that ask for it, I wouldn’t force it on the patients as I envision some people wanting to do. Although I wonder if they would take Vivitrol themselves. One need to know the characteristics of Vivitrol.

    Does anyone ever ask, what the patients want? Or is treatment tainted by our own bias?
    We have been talking about evidence based treatment for decades, I have yet to see any evidence that we are going in that direction. Hopefully there would be enough money, and some people would be willing to read the evidence, science on METHADONE and Suboxone and other medications that are now being developed. We keep talking about this being a disease, where is the beef the medication and the science base treatment we see in other medical fields. I truly hope this is not going to be all about medication, but we all need to learn a lot more what scientific evidence means.

    • Avatar of Cry
      Cry / August 9, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      I believe most people whom become addicted to drugs know eactly what they want – they are their own doctor. Even before seeking treatment, they say I want subs, vivitrol, methadone; before during and after i recover. They’re well-educated amd street smart about what’s available. After detoxing on subs, they should be drug free for a minimum number of days, to assess a baseline once one can think clearer and generally feel better physically. Just my two cents.

  4. Rocky Hill MA, NCAC II, CADC II / August 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Wonder where the funds are going to come from to treat the epidemic of opiate dependent patients and what if they are dependent on prescription opiates, they don’t qualify? Good to see a focus on the problem but we may be able to treat more people with an individualized, patient centered treatment approach that includes other treatment modalities like outpatient day treatment, with longer duration use of buprenorphine, followed sometimes by vivitrol. I think that studies will show that, after the 60 days, the post acute withdrawal syndrome and resultant anhedonia, will find most of their patients right back on opiates.
    We began using buprenorphine ten years ago, when our relapse rate was 96% for opiate users. Since implementing buprenorphine, day treatment, followed by intensive outpatient, aftercare, and weekly family sessions, we have been able to increase our heroin/oxy recovery rate to 57%. I suspect that our cost is a fraction of that for inpatient treatment. Short term hospital based stabilization with long term medication assisted, full service outpatient treatment may be a better option for the most people.

  5. Helen Harberts / August 7, 2014 at 11:05 am

    They might want to fund 90 days of vivitrol to begin at the transfer from residential treatment to IOP. That makes a HUGE difference

  6. Debra Mullen / August 7, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I am a recovering addict who went through treatment in 1986. I am still actively involved with my NA program, which is what helps keep me clean. If one doesn’t continue on that journey of support, they will continue to relapse. I’ve been here for a long enough time to watch people come and go in the rooms. Bottom line, the common denominater is when people stop going to meetings they lose their spiritual connection and the mind takes over thinking ” I can handle it”. I have watched people OD, or lose everything all because of this cunning disease.
    I came from San Francisco in the early 70′s strung out on Heroin and I was on the methadone program. It doesn’t get worse than that. I thought moving back to my home town of Columbus Ohio, I could get clean..That was a joke. It comes down to being sick enough to want to do things different.
    I’m thrilled to say, I get up daily in the morning and I don’t have to shoot a bag of dope to brush my teeth. The freedom of active addiction is ongoing. If you are one who is struggling, use your program like you did your dope. Blessings, Debbie M

  7. Christy Brown / August 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    This would be great–but why not make inpatient treatment available through insurance? My insurance excluded it and my son was denied outpatient by several facilities because they assessed him as needing inpatient. Then the insurance only gave him a few days of partial hospitalization (a way of avoiding residential) and intensive outpatient treatment.

    Need for Heroin addiction treatment should be determined by doctors. However, I have seen some “experts” say inpatient is not needed which is crazy. Heroin addicts can be very sick physically and mentally and they need monitoring to stop from using as well.

    Will detox be included in the 30-60 days? My insurance did not cover detox unless medically necessary and heroin addiction was not considered medically necessary so I also had to pay out of pocket for detox.

    The cost of inpatient treatment can also be manageable in cases where the residence cost and the treatment itself are separated. I was willing to pay for housing/food if the insurance agreed to pay for the day treatment, but their rules did not allow that.

    Why doesn’t congress stand up to the insurance companies and make them cover mental illness and sa with parity as the law states?

  8. lynn / August 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I think this is a fantastic idea, long overdue. heroin is out of control, addicts cannot get the help they need for this evil evil drug that has such physical addiction and mental. I pray this passed in the government to help addicts. my 24 year old son has struggled with this addiction for 7 years now, its been pure hell.

    • Avatar of Cry
      Cry / August 8, 2014 at 9:40 am

      I can relate. My daughter for the past 7 years spiraled downward and willingly went to a dual diagnosis long-term residential addiction treatment facility far, far away. After years of detoxes, ods, counselors, no money, no job, no nothing. Just the air that she breathes. Want to share what is helping. Family all on same page – needs help. Intervention First detoxed. Then Lives in a big home w 8 girls and a 24-hour house manager in a residential area. At a clinic nearby is group Therapy and counseling, holistic, art, indoor and outdoor therapy, only M-F. Must attend one AA or NA local community meeting 7 days a week. She food shops, cooks, cleans, prepares her own meals (all monitored 24/7). Drug tested 3-4 times a week to be held accountable. Weekends are meetings, shopping, gym, daily life, and they are treated to something special (Movie/dinner). it has been a daily struggle for an addict to realize one can live clean and sober, having fun along the way, in an environment with their peers. These are young adults who need to re-learn life skills.

      Learning to live life, on life’s terms.
      May you find peace knowing there is hope.

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