How America's Broken Health Care System is Contributing to Addiction

Broken Healthcare System Contributing to Addiction - Freedom From Addiction

America's broken health care system is not just contributing to addiction, but it is also a key factor in why people are not recovering from addiction, and for many deaths! Yes, I said it the insurance company is to blame partially. Society also takes some responsibility as well. Let me explain:

  1. Prevention & Education: These two take time, energy, understanding, and patience. To do them properly we would have to train all individuals how to recognize red flags (not just signs that someone is abusing substances but that they are struggling in some way or at risk). We would have to educate teachers and parents and provide opportunity, activities, and supervision for children and adolescents. Education and training on substance use disorder, consequences of use, emotional regulation, empathy, risk reduction, coping skills, life skills, etc. would need to be a staple in our educational system, for parents, for law enforcement, Physicians - really for everyone. Sounds like a lot, right? IT IS!!
  2. Insurance companies need to be held responsible! Research proves that they longer a person stays in treatment for substance use disorder, the more likely they are to be successful. Insurance companies make it close to impossible for those with substance use disorder to receive residential care, which should be the first step in the continuum of care, and then allow limited time for them in all levels of care falling below residential. Not giving an individual adequate time in treatment sets the stage for them to relapse over and over again. Insurance companies are setting us up to fail! As a result, people are dying! This is an issue I will be writing in more detail on in an upcoming article) just setting the stage now.
  3. Understand the root of the problem, don't just put a band aid on it! Physicians are overprescribing opiates and not exploring other treatment options. Obviously, there is a subset of individuals who live in chronic pain for who some pain medication will likely be a part of their treatment regimen. However, Physicians are too quick to jump right to that rather than exploring underlying causes or pain and alternative treatments even to just lower the dosage people are receiving. Prescription Opiates need to be monitored and not used as the first line of treatment. Physicians who simply continue to prescribe opiate medication without considering alternatives or potential consequences are acting irresponsibly and are part of this devastating problem.

Dr. Rachel Needle has specialized training in the area of substance use disorders. She is a professional consultant to substance abuse facilities and assists them in expanding and enhancing clinical programming. Dr. Needle also does expert training on the topic of substance abuse, mental illness, and sexual health for staff members at residential and outpatient facilities that specialize in alcohol and substance use disorders.

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