Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why people don’t get treatment

According to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health there were about 24 million people who needed drug or alcohol treatment who didn’t get it. When they were asked why they didn’t get treatment the biggest reason given was that they didn’t have the health care coverage or they couldn’t afford it.


This is a modern day tragedy. The evidence is very strong that money spent on treatment is money very well spent. I think the last study on this issue found that for every dollar spent on treatment, there were seven dollars saved, either in future medical costs or other costs such as incarceration, child neglect, marital strife, etc.


It is hard enough for people who have addiction problems to reach the point of being willing to accept help. The last thing they need are barriers preventing them from getting it. Hopefully the new Obama health care bill will correct this problem so that at least all the people who want treatment can actually get it.


Dr Peter Coleman

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