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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Addiction Treatment Covered By Cures Act

In this day and age, it seems a rare occasion when the White House Administration and Congress agree on something. But, when it does happen some good can come out of it. In the United States the push to de-stigmatize addiction and provide access to substance use disorder treatment services has become a top priority in the wake of the American opioid epidemic. With over 2 million people battling opioid use disorder, such efforts are of the utmost importance. Naturally, accomplishing such a goal is the farthest thing from an easy task.

Regardless of which side of the aisle one’s political sympathies lay, addiction has the power to wreak havoc. Which is why it is vital that lawmakers work together to create bipartisan solutions for the crisis. Greater access to addiction treatment is, and should be, the weapon of choice against the opioid epidemic. Yet, providing the necessary support requires billions of dollars in funding, something that has proved difficult to garner. It turns out that funding may be found in a comprehensive health bill that was approved in U, S House of Representatives this week.

The 21st Century Cures Act aims to strengthen existing mental health parity laws, ensuring that coverage providers treat mental illness the same way they would any other health condition, USA Today reports. What’s more, the bill calls for $1 billion in funding for addiction treatment and prevention over the next two-years. The White House supports the Cures Act, stating:

“The resources included in the bill will allow states to expand access to treatment to help individuals seeking help to find it and to start the road to recovery, with preference given to states with an incidence or prevalence of opioid use disorders that is substantially higher relative to other states.”

The Cures Act, which will now move on to the Senate for approval, may end up picking up the slack of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA). If you have been following the news, you may be aware that while CARA was written to specifically address the American opioid epidemic, it was severely underfunded to ensure that it met its goals. With the addition of the Cures Act, funding a widespread expansion in addiction treatment may be possible.

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