Opioid use, whether for a short or long period of time, can make you susceptible to addiction and possible overdose. There are many factors that can play a role in prescription drug addiction, including your personal background and length of use, but there really is no sure way of knowing who will fall victim to opioid abuse. Whether a person acquires them legally or illegally, these drugs are to blame for the vast majority of overdose deaths in the United States. Over 115 people in the United States die daily from opioid abuse. This has turned into a national crisis affecting public health as well as social and economic welfare. The United States loses over $78.5 billion a year fighting this crisis. Unfortunately, this negative trend is showing no signs of slowing down.
How it Started
Drug companies originally assured the medical community and government that opioids would not be addictive. This contributed to physicians prescribing these drugs more often. Eventually, this led to widespread abuse of these medications before medical professionals realized they were very addictive. In the meantime, opioid misuse and overdose rates continued to steadily climb. By 2015, over 33,000 Americans died of opioid-related overdoses. In that same year, nearly 2 million Americans suffered from opioid pain reliever substance abuse, and nearly 600,000 suffered from heroin addiction. It is important to be considerate toward addicts because it is a difficult situation to deal with, and many factors are beyond the user’s control.
Medical Coverage for Addiction
You may be wondering if medical insurance covers opioid addiction treatment. Generally speaking, yes. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which was passed in 2008, mandates that insurance companies provide coverage for opioid addiction that is comparable to regular medical and surgical care. The types of drugs that are covered and other specifics will vary based on your insurer and plan type. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, many people did not have health care insurance, and their addiction problems went untreated. Today, nearly 85 percent of adults have medical insurance coverage.
The United States has over 14,500 facilities that specialize in drug addiction. It is important to remember that your insurance plan may not cover every facility. Most insurance plans also cover maintenance programs for people who are recovering from addiction. These programs are designed for individuals who had severe addictions and are unable to survive without drugs even after rehabilitation. Typically, maintenance programs will prescribe medications to help these people live a drug-free life. In most cases, these drugs are very expensive, so medical coverage is essential.
Opioid addiction is a very serious problem in the United States that costs billions of dollars each year to confront. The problem started with a misunderstanding of the addictive potential of the drugs. On the bright side, the majority of people in the United States do have medical insurance to treat addiction and improve their lifestyle.
At your first appointment, you’re required to have:
The following lists will help the doctor get to know you and learn about your health care needs. While sharing personal health issues can be embarrassing, the more information you give, the better equipped the doctor will be to keep you healthy.
Before the day of your appointment, write down this information to bring with you:
With your written permission, your doctor can get a copy of your medical records from your previous doctor. The physician’s office will provide the forms for you to sign.
It’s often hard to remember what you want to ask the doctor. Here’s a list of questions to get you started:
Want to know what your health plan covers before your appointment? Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will review your policy with you. You can even text me at 209-353-2330.