Staggering rates of opiate abuse and overdose deaths across the country have led some states to begin taking action to curb what is being acknowledged more and more as a public health epidemic. On Jan. 8, 2014, Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont used the entirety of his annual State of the State Message to address his state’s out-of-control rates of heroin use, and to charge lawmakers with the task of finding ways to push back against the drug crisis.
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affordable care act
"There is no illness currently being treated that will be more affected by the Affordable Care Act than addiction, that's because we have a system of treatment that was built for a time when they didn't understand that addiction was an illness."
Dr. Tom McLellan, September 11, 2013
CEO, Treatment Research Institute
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In 2012, the number of adults in the United States suffering from substance abuse—more than 60 million—was greater than the number suffering from cancer and diabetes combined.
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Progress in understanding addiction as a medical problem has done a lot to walk back the stigma associated with the disease. But addiction stigma still persists—just see a recent debate on the BBC’s Newsnight between actor Matthew Perry and UK journalist Peter Hitchens.
When he was the deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., helped tie advancements in addiction treatment to the larger movement of health care reform in the United States. Now, as the Affordable Care Act begins granting health coverage to millions of people for problems with substance use, providers and insurers will be deeply interested in what treatment services are most effective and reduce health care costs, opening the door for innovation and paradigm shifts in addiction treatment.
On November 4, 2013 Recovering(me) CEO Drew Ingram provided a walk-through of the Recovering(me) program to the staff of U.S. Probation offices in the Eastern district of Kentucky. U.S. Probation represents a major area where an innovative approach to recovery could help address multiple problems.
On Monday, December 9, 2013, the White House will live stream a conference on drug policy reform giving recovery advocates an opportunity to speak on the subjects of addiction science and stigma. The summit will be hosted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and will feature presentations from representatives of organizations like the Recovery Research Institute, Faces & Voices of Recovery, and Medication-Assisted Recovery Services (MARS).