In his talk, “Rehab & Relapse,” Ben Salazar, program director, GCC Alcohol/Drug Studies, explained the disease of addiction. Like diabetes, asthma and epilepsy, addiction is a chronic condition that cannot be cured. So, say someone goes to a rehabilitation facility for alcohol abuse treatment; what are the chances they’ll achieve sobriety? According to Ben, there’s only about a 10% recovery rate. Some places and substances have a better rate, but it is certain that people with good friends and family support systems upon exit, who are committed to sobriety, who receive counseling and medical treatment and who find something positive to do to replace substance use do better. Access to wealth and resources also benefits people suffering from addiction or addiction-related problems.
In 2012, NIDA (National Institute Drug Abuse) estimated around 30 million Americans are either addicted or suffer addiction-related problems. Are they getting help to control their disease? NIDA reports a treatment gap. Of the 23.1 million Americans needing treatment, about 2.5 million received help at a specialty facility. Insurance companies don’t cover extended stays in rehab, another roadblock to recovery. Data show 90 days of rehabilitation has a better outcome; still, about one month is covered by many insurers. Some believe it takes 60 days for the brain to re-orient itself, so 28 days wouldn’t be enough time to get on the path to recovery. With all of the talk about healthcare reform, rehab professionals doubt the outcome will be good for them. Why? Because addiction is a pre-existing condition. If you don’t have insurance, you have until Feb. 15 to sign up through coveredca.com. As resources come in, they go into our online Resource Guide, so remember to consider CV-Alliance.org when looking for information.
Heartfelt thanks to Temple Sinai of Glendale for including CV Alliance in their Mitzvah Weekend. A mitzvah is both a commandment from God and a charitable act. I followed two young women who told of lobbying congress for women’s rights; I’m glad that cycle continues.
P.S. Since the dad didn’t buy or provide alcohol, he was named as the social host.
is the executive director of
CV Alliance located at
3131 Foothill Blvd. Suite D
La Crescenta, CA 91214