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Friday, November 21, 2014

Anthony's Act for Longer Treatment

What is the proper length of substance use disorder treatment? While every case is different, most in the field of addiction will agree that the longer the stay, the better the chances for success. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to take extended lengths of time for treatment; reasons for this often include financial, familial, or insurance limitations. It is often the case that insurance will only cover 30 days in treatment; after detox which averages about 7 days, it only leaves about 3 weeks of actual treatment time that will be covered.

People often require longer lengths of treatment but are not able to receive it because their coverage does not allow it, this puts newly sober addicts and alcoholics in tight spot. Relapses and worse, overdoses, often happen when leaving treatment too soon, which can be dire. Such was the case of Anthony Fiore, a 24-year old Pennsylvanian, who overdosed on heroin shortly after leaving a 30 day treatment program. Valerie and Cris Fiore, Anthony’s parents, in response to the loss of their son, have started the Anthony’s Act petition. The goal of Anthony’s Act is to extend the length of time insurers cover in-patient treatment, increasing the effectiveness of treatment programs, The Fix reports.

The Affordable Care Act only provides a 30-day maximum treatment program, which the Fiore family feels (and they would not be wrong) is not enough time. Anthony’s Act would increase the minimum length of inpatient drug rehabilitation programs to 90 days.

“One of the things that is so important about inpatient treatment that's so important is it gets you out of that environment,” said Cris Fiore, Anthony’s father. “You’re some place safe, secure and away from the things that were a bad part of your life before.”

“The way the system works right now is 30 days or less,” he added. “And people are just going through rehab after rehab after rehab. It’s not working. Anthony…every time he came home he used that night.”

The Fiore family is encouraging people to reach out to their state representatives and tell them that the, “Affordable Care Act must be amended to provide for a minimum of ninety (90) days inpatient drug or alcohol treatment up to a maximum of one hundred eighty (180) days per year at a facility certified to provide such care by the Secretary of Health of the state in which it is located.”

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