With fewer patients coming in due to social distancing, addiction treatment centers are facing financial strains, according to NPR.
During the pandemic, consumption of drugs and alcohol has increased. That means treatment needs will be greater in the coming months and years, at a time when resources have been cut back, experts say.
The National Council for Behavioral Health surveyed its 3,400 members, most of whom are nonprofit community treatment centers. The survey, conducted in April, found 92.6% of residential and outpatient centers have reduced their operations. Centers cancelled, rescheduled or turned away 31% of patients, and 61.8% have closed at least one program. The survey found 46.7% have had to, or plan to, lay off or furlough employees as a result of the pandemic.
“Unfortunately it’s, a self-perpetuating cycle,” said CEO Chuck Ingoglia. “You have fewer staff or fewer programs, which means you can treat fewer people, which then has long-term impact on your revenue.”
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