People Seeking Addiction Treatment Face Many Obstacles: Experts

Lethal Combination

People seeking treatment for addiction face a number of obstacles, including problems getting insurance coverage, a shortage of trained health providers and low quality of care, experts tell USA Today.

Kelly Clark, President-Elect of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, says many insurance plans limit the doses of the opioid treatment buprenorphine that patients can receive, or the length of time patients can receive it. She notes studies show people with private insurance are three to six times less likely to receive addiction treatment, compared with people covered by public insurance, such as Medicaid.

Many doctors have little or no training in treating addiction, according to Emily Feinstein, Director of Health Law and Policy at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. She says some doctors are uncomfortable with patients who are dealing with addiction, while others would like to treat addiction, but face low insurance reimbursement rates if they do so.

Many addiction treatment programs use unproven treatments, Feinstein says. In a 2012 report, her organization found “only a small fraction of individuals receive interventions or treatments consistent with scientific knowledge about what works.” Addiction treatment is often provided by counselors who do not have medical training, she said. Some states do not require addiction counselors to have a high school diploma, Feinstein added.

In March the Obama Administration announced a new plan to fight opioid addiction, which includes expanding treatment with addiction medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Several legislators have introduced legislation that would expand addiction treatment.

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    Mark

    June 16, 2015 at 1:37 AM

    my addiction to opiates and heroin were the worst thing that hit my life and I’m here to tell you my story about it, I was like any other teenage kid in public high school, i was a quite and shy kid who was in uncharted territory and scared of what was in front of me at the time. I wanted to be liked and to be popular you know that story,so i started hanging out with some people and they were into smoking weed and drinking and i got into smoking weed and a bit of drinking, after a year of doing that i got into doing coke and taking ecstasy, after that i got into doing triple c’s (poor man’s acid) after a couple months i hit a clean streak for some time and only smoked weed, I also had a horrible habit of lying and being someone i wasn’t (i hated it i was so scared that people would hate the real me), after that clean streak i met some new people and i was just getting into my senior year and i dropped out to go to a sister school they had called krop west, i started to do pills but it wasn’t such a over the top amount of pills i took, like at parties I would take some and smoke weed, let me tell you something i made juicy j and the rest of those idiots look like amateurs the way i was taking drugs. About a year after i graduated i started doing codeine syrup and smoking way to much weed and here and there a Oxycontin, and Oxycontin knocked me on my ass i use to literally crawl on the floor from being so high while i had that lil wyte song in the back playing. Now I’m heading down that hill and not caring the destruction I’m causing, it got to the point where i was taking things from house and pawning them for money to get my next hit and just ending up in these horrible places to get high, I didn’t care where I was heading and the consequences were dyer! It came to the point where I would take everything from my parents and knowing the consequences i still took from them whatever i could to pawn and get some pills or heroin, the stealing never lead to outside of the house only within my family like my aunt and my parents, it got worse by me taking money from there ATM card and forging the name on her check to get bigger amounts of cash for pills. I was going down fast and and not caring at all what would happen to me, i wanted to reach a point of no return and just overdose and die, i eventually got kicked out and lived on the streets for three months and lived with friends who were junkies just like me and that’s where i learned to use the needle to use my drugs with and i fell in love real quick, it hit me like a gorgeous woman walking into a room and she locked eyes with you and only you, and for that moment everything i felt was warm and safe it was like being surrounded by love itself and nothing could harm you. Shit was i wrong that first feeling was the only feeling and i chased it for over five years of my life hoping to feel that false sense of love all around was going to be the death of me and i knew it, but i had to find that feeling again! I even thought i could contain relationships and be some kind of normal person while hiding a addiction to heroin, the reason why i wanted to become this addict was because my deepest darkest secret was that i suffered from child abuse at the hands of my uncle and my fathers sister at a very young age and became convinced that i was the one to blame for leading them into there horrible temptation, for years i suppressed  those memories and has a teen they started to come to light in the form of nightmares and vivid ones at that, I knew i had been violated at a early age and never wanted to self acknowledge it for myself, the second thing that killed me inside was the loss of my grandmother from my mothers side, she was the woman i had a voice to vent to a woman that heard me out and became a huge part of my life and gave me direction when i needed it most! i remember being at Camp Shalom sleep away camp where i was a counselor for the kids, and i just lead my kids to the cafeteria and i forgot somethings at the cabin and went back, now around this time my grandmother was on her death bed in Miami and my mom refused that i come back and see her, she had skin cancer. So anyways i was heading back to get some stuff from the cabin and on the way back to the cafeteria they called out my name on the PA system and i went to the office and everyone was quite and looking down and someone handed the phone to me and my mom was on the other side crying her head off saying she has passed and shes sorry, i froze instantly! i said okay mom i love and i will call later, i leave the office and half way to the cafeteria i collapse on the ground and broke down screaming to the heavens why wold you take such a sweet woman like her and not me!!! bursting into tears hoping God would strike me down right there and then! that day changed my life forever just like when i was a young boy vulnerable to a terrible act of molestation. The worst thing for me through all this was that i was a very quite person it was hard for to express the pain and to talk to people who i loved about it, it destroyed most of my relationships and made me a very lonely person, i thought that the things that i hid from people were things that would make me a outcast to the world. The best way possible for me to express that pain was through the drug use and the lies i told, i wanted to be someone else something that was normal and part of everyday society but at heart i wasn’t and i was a horrible lair,I hated myself and everything i did, even when i got sober i couldn’t bare to forgive myself for all the shit i did and the person i was when i was addicted to heroin and prescription medicine. It took four years for me to forgive myself and to love myself with each day learning something great about myself, i learned to express things with my words and become my own personal hero in my life. No matter what happens with your life weather you face addiction or any hardship make the first step to a greater life and be free from all obstacles.

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