We turn the knowledge and insights gained from research, and the experience of families impacted by addiction, into actionable policy recommendations.
Our policy priorities focus on adopting a public health approach to addiction, increasing access to effective and affordable treatment, demanding resources for families, and effectively preventing addiction before it starts. We urge policymakers to take action and work with us to end our nation’s addiction crisis.
Although the opioid epidemic is a national issue, states shoulder the majority of the financial and social burden caused by addiction. This guide shows state policymakers how to implement a public health approach to end the opioid epidemic.
Decades of research, by us and others, show that we can effectively end our nation’s addiction crisis by adopting a public health approach. For too long, solutions have been rooted in stigma and judgment, and they have proven ineffective.
High out-of-pocket costs, inadequate insurance coverage and a lack of capacity to meet demand place effective treatment out of reach for far too many of those in need. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Parity Act) along with provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are already in place with the intent to increase access to care. But the lack of enforcement and compliance, insufficient insurance coverage and other institutional barriers persist.
Families are a highly effective, yet significantly underutilized resource in addressing substance use. Despite research supporting effective strategies for family involvement, families are often alienated by stigma and a treatment and reimbursement model that overlooks families and other concerned significant others. Organizations providing family support services have stepped in to help bridge the gap between what is known from the research about the importance of including and supporting families and the current barriers to family engagement, but these organizations lack funding and support.
As a country, we’ve neglected prevention efforts, fail to routinely screen for risky substance use and intervene only as needed. Of every state and federal tax dollar spent on problems related to addiction and substance use, less than 2 cents goes to prevention and treatment while 96 cents goes to managing the consequences of our failure to prevent and effectively treat them. We’re most effective when we can prevent an issue before it even starts.
Learn more about our stance on today’s most pressing addiction issues.
The Joseph A. Califano, Jr. Institute for Applied Policy was created to conduct Partnership to End Addiction’s policy work. We are committed to translating the results of research into policy and practice. To this end, we are working to change the way the public and policymakers think about and respond to addiction—shifting from a punitive and stigmatizing approach to one of public health and medicine. We do this by creating practical, effective policy and practice-based solutions to prevent, treat and help find a cure for the disease of addiction.