Substance Use Disorders
About 23 million Americans suffer from alcohol and drug addiction, but only a fraction get the treatment they need. Most people cannot find or afford treatment or feel too stigmatized to seek help. Another 68 million Americans engage in risky use of alcohol or drugs that could lead to dependence or addiction. While the millions going without treatment are from all walks of life, substance use disorders have especially dire impact on those without insurance, with low incomes and who face discrimination because of their race or ethnicity. The cost in lives and in dollars is enormous.
Community Catalyst believes treatment should be readily available to all who need it, and should include the sustained care and life supports proven to help recovery from this chronic illness. Expanding treatment for substance use disorders can also save millions of dollars in medical and criminal justice costs.
Our organization works to improve care for substance use disorders and further integrate it into our existing health care delivery system. At the state level, Community Catalyst works with local advocates to improve coverage, access, and treatment. Our Federal work on this project centers on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), parity for substance use disorders, and protecting funding for the safety net and addiction programs.
- July 10, 2012 Essential Health Benefits: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders -- Necessary Services As state policymakers design an Essential Health Benefits (EHB) package for their state, Community Catalyst recommends inclusion of a set of mental health and substance use disorders services.
- July 10, 2012 Essential Health Benefits: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Advocacy The inclusion of mental health and substance use disorders services in essential health benefits is integral to improving and maintaining Americans’ overall health and reducing the enormous health care costs that result when these illnesses are not treated.
- June 07, 2012 Consumer Rights to Mental Health Treatment: State Responsibility for Enforcing the Federal Parity Act A fact sheet created with Health Law Advocates explaining the 2008 Wellstone-Domenici Parity Act and issues surrounding state enforcement.
- October 26, 2011 Expanding Treatment for Substance Use Disorders: Top Five Priorities for Advocates The Affordable Care Act took an enormous step in the treatment of substance use disorders by including it as an Essential Health Benefit for all insurance policies purchased through Exchanges and for people newly eligible for Medicaid in 2014. Despite its inclusion in the new law, substance use disorder coverage and treatment still faces numerous obstacles.
- October 07, 2011 Substance Use Disorders: Protect Medicaid The Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid coverage for millions with substance use disorders, but state budget shortfalls and federal-level cuts threaten Medicaid funding
- October 07, 2011 The Affordable Care Act Expands Access to Treatment for Substance Use Disorders The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes many provisions to improve and expand treatment for people with substance use disorders. Some of these provisions are already being implemented in states. Others are promising opportunities but require consumer advocacy and monitoring.
- October 06, 2011 Community Catalyst Substance Use Disorder Goals Community Catalyst believes treatment should be readily available to everyone who needs it, and should include the sustained care and life supports proven to help recovery from this chronic illness.