Physicians Call for More Treatment Coverage for Youths

The group Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy (PLNDP) is calling on insurance companies to provide more comprehensive coverage of addiction treatment for adolescents, Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly reported Sept. 30.

The report, “Adolescent Substance Abuse: A Public Health Priority,” released by the national physicians group, said coverage for addiction treatment under health plans should be equal to that offered for chronic diseases.

The report said that low reimbursement rates and managed-care regulations have reduced access to addiction treatment. As a result, only one in 10 adolescents needing treatment receives it.

The report also said that private-sector development of treatment programs, medications, and protocols are discouraged under the current economic system.

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