At the Federal level, we are hearing about efforts to curb the opioid crisis. In the Federal budget, just passed a few weeks ago, Congress appropriated $6 billion for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to address this crisis. The President’s budget proposes to add even more funding, and an amended version of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0 would authorize an additional $1 billion annually for drug programs. This is all good news, but what exactly does this mean and where does this leave families?
Federal funding will go toward much needed resources including naloxone for local communities, programs to support first responders, enhanced treatment options for pregnant women and recovery support programs. All of these are critical programs that deserve an influx of federal dollars. But what about funding for programs to support families? At the national and local level, there is very little funding for these kind of services. Parents and families, who are often the ones helping to get their loved ones into treatment, are being left out of this important national conversation and are not getting the support that they need and deserve.
Family members navigate insurance coverage for treatment, pay out-of-pocket for the care that insurance won’t cover, help their children find work and places to live while in recovery, and provide critical emotional and financial support. We know that there is nothing a parent wouldn’t do for their child who is sick. However, unlike other diseases, there are few support systems where families can connect, navigate treatment and manage the emotional toll of a loved one’s addiction. Join our effort to help parents. Family support services are essential because children that have family members involved in their treatment have much better outcomes for long-term recovery.