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How the Affordable Care Act Will Affect Treatment for Substance Abuse

Big changes are in store for treatment for substance abuse under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The ACA classifies alcoholism and other drug addictions as chronic diseases. As such, they have to be covered by insurance plans. This is a big change from most insurer’s definitions of substance abuse issues, and it means that a lot more people may have access to treatment that they previously would not have been able to obtain. According to California Health Report, up to 40 million people could enter rehabilitation programs for substance abuse treatment under the ACA.

In 2009 24 million Americans require treatment for substance abuse problems, but only 11 percent received it at specialized rehabilitation facilities. Prohibitive costs are often a factor that discourage people from seeking treatment. In not seeking treatment, people with substance abuse problems also often develop other health issues related to their substance abuse, further compounding the problem. Insurance-covered treatment could allow many to receive the treatment they need at a rehabilitation clinic at an affordable price. Obamacare puts special emphasis on treatment for substance abuse as it costs about $120 billion per year in health care spending. The law forces insurers to cover rehab and encourages doctors to screen for addictions in order to catch them early. It is hoped that both of these practices will significantly reduce the burden of substance abuse on the health care system.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism or alcohol abuse, there is help available. At The Bergand Group in Baltimore, MD our therapists have over twenty years’ experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and toward appropriate care for addictive disorders. To speak with someone at our office, please call us at 410-853-7691.

About The Bergand Group:

The Bergand Group is located in Lutherville, MD under the careful supervision of Dr. John Steinberg and Dr. Paul Giannandrea. The pair has created a true Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Disorder treatment program in The Bergand Group. Two complimentary doctors to provide a setting in which patients can be treated and in which clinicians can work that embodies the core principles Dr. Steinberg and Dr. Giannandrea have held to in over 25 years of practice to form the Bergand Group.

As the treatment of mental health and addiction disorders requires addressing each patient’s individual needs, the ability to individualize that treatment is essential. The Bergand Group offers varying levels of intensity in outpatient services, both individual and group. Efforts are made to match clients with appropriate therapists. Pharmacologic therapy, drug monitoring and prescribing, use of antagonist and blocking agents, buprenorphine- both detox and maintenance, are offered.

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