Drug Treatment Insurance Coverage

Addiction works its way into the substance abuser’s life and takes hold of their ability to control their compulsions to use drugs or alcohol.

Drug addicts are both physically and psychologically hooked on their substance of choice. Their cravings cannot be waited out and only grow in intensity along with the painful effects of withdrawal when there is a prolonged absence of the substance. For those who need addiction treatment, appropriate drug treatment insurance coverage is important to help make treatment costs more financially feasible.

The Importance of Getting Help

Treatment for drug addiction is vital to the health and well-being of a drug or alcohol abuser. Left untreated, drug and alcohol dependencies intensify and get stronger, like infections. This leads to making substance abuse habits much harder to kick over time. In addition, it gives the disorder the chance to take over. In one study, 41 to 65 percent of participants who had a substance use disorder at some point in their lives also had one or more mental health disorders during their lifetime, per the Washington State University Institute for Mental Illness Research and Training.

An Increased Risk of Addiction

School shooting and mental illnessCertain individuals are at an increased risk of engaging in substance abuse altogether, such as poorly supervised youths, club-goers and college students. Likewise, there are specific types of people who are more likely to develop an addiction to an illicit drug or alcohol, too. For instance, poverty and homelessness significantly increases the likelihood of substance abuse problems. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 81 percent of homeless youths use tobacco, along with 80 percent consuming alcohol and 75 percent using cannabis.

Those who are mentally ill are also at a far higher risk of addiction to drugs and/or alcohol than the general population. According to Helpguide, around half of all individuals with severe mental health disorders are also engaging in drug or alcohol abuse. Interestingly, mental illness and homelessness often overlap, giving the 20 to 25 percent of homeless people who also have a severe mental health disorder — per the National Coalition for the Homeless — an even higher chance of developing an addiction in their lifetime.

Of course, other variables apply, such as environmental exposure to drugs and alcohol and a family history of addiction. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that children of alcoholics have a fourfold increased chance of becoming an alcoholic themselves one day; this is rather discerning considering one in every five Americans over the age of 18 lived with an alcoholic during their childhood.

The Treatment Gap

With a number so large in need of professional treatment, it’s disheartening that only 2.6 million received it in 2009, the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York reports.

For many drug and alcohol abusers, denial is a very long process from start to finish and they just don’t believe they’re in need of treatment. Others simply aren’t ready to stop abusing their preferred substance(s). Unfortunately, many don’t receive the treatment they need due to an inability to pay for such services. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 59.6 percent of individuals admitted for substance abuse treatment in 2011 did not have health insurance, and 21.3 percent used Medicaid in addition to the mere 10.5 percent who had private insurance.

In 2009, 1.1 million of the people in need of treatment that didn’t receive it actually wanted it, with 34.9 percent claiming to have sought such treatment, per the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York. Sadly, this situation is not improving, despite government assistance and health care reform. Based on data from 2010 through 2013, 37.3 percent of addicts who tried to get treatment but never received it claimed that a lack of insurance and lack of any other means with which to afford the cost of substance abuse treatment were the reasons they lacked access to addiction help, per Drug War Facts.

While there are facilities that operate entirely on government funds, they are few and far between. Furthermore, the waiting lists for these institutions are high, and only getting longer by the day. It is hopeful that changes implemented by the Affordable Care Act will improve the scope and reach of addiction treatment in the future, providing thousands, if not millions, with access to treatment they wouldn’t have had prior to said laws going into effect.With the ACA changes, mental health issues must now be covered in the same way that standard medical illnesses are. As a result, addiction treatment is often covered. If you are ready to seek addiction treatment, it’s worth contacting your insurance provider for specifics on your drug treatment insurance coverage. Many rehab facilities accept insurance and are willing to work with you to determine your exact coverage levels.


If you’re concerned someone you care about may be a drug abuser or addict, look for the following signs:

  • Using drugs or drinking alcohol to avoid withdrawal
  • Building up a tolerance to a substance
  • Abandonment of activities once enjoyed
  • Preoccupation with drug use and supply
  • Persisting use of drugs even when they have had bad effects on the user’s life

You’re not alone. There are others just like you, and many have found their way to The Oaks at La Paloma. Call today and speak with one of our compassionate admissions coordinators to find out your options regarding covering the cost of your addiction care.