Early intervention, increased treatment options, and integrating addiction treatment with mainstream medicine are among the focal points in a new Rhode Island report aimed at closing the gap between need for and availability of addiction services, the Providence Journal reported May 26.
Rhode Island’s Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap Coalition issued a dozen recommendations to state policymakers, including requiring Medicaid to pay for screening and brief intervention, developing quality standards for treatment providers, empowering the health-insurance commissioner to ensure that the state’s parity law is enforced, and including behavioral-health specialists in primary-care facilities.
Only 12 percent of Rhode Island residents who need addiction treatment receive services, experts said. “There would be outrage in the streets if one in eight diabetics received … treatment,” said Nick Zaller, coordinator of the Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap Coalition.
See also: David Rosenbloom’s blog post, We Can Close the Treatment Gap. Will We?