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Government Programs for Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Approximately 3 million Americans get help for drug and alcohol addiction every year. But even with that number, it is only 10 percent of the 22.7 million people in the US who need treatment—a number that still grows every year.

Navigation: Federal Alcoholism Treatment Options, Medicare and Medicaid, Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits, Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), State Alcoholism Treatment Options, Local Government Alcoholism Treatment Options, Rehab is Your Best Chance


Many people who have alcohol use disorder (AUD) want to seek treatment but are unable to. Access and cost of treatment are two of the biggest roadblocks for those who want to get treatment. Individuals struggling with alcoholism should know that there are many government programs available that can provide the necessary resources they need.

Approximately 3 million Americans get help for drug and alcohol addiction every year. But even with that number, it is only 10 percent of the 22.7 million people in the US who need treatment—a number that still grows every year. It goes without saying that alcoholism is a serious problem in the country.

Fortunately, all levels of government have programs dedicated to combating the disease. Even as early as 2005, government agencies (state, federal, and local) spent $648 billion annually on alcohol and drug abuse related costs. This accounts for more than 10 percent of all government spending.

Some programs are focused on helping alcoholics recover, while others are more focused on helping families of alcoholics who have been harmed by substance abuse. This extends to communities affected as well. Many other programs are designed to help prevent substance abuse in the first place.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA is one of the largest government agencies that provide alcohol treatment resources. The goal of this agency is to reduce the rate of substance abuse through different campaigns and initiatives. SAMHSA also provides one of the most widely-used lists of available treatment programs.

Those who want to seek government and federal assistance for alcohol abuse treatment should contact a treatment expert for help.


Federal Alcoholism Treatment Options

The federal government invests billions of dollars every year into combating drug and alcohol addiction. Much of this is spent on law enforcement, but a significant portion is spent on providing health care and treatment. The vast majority of funding comes from Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration (VA) benefits and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.

Many rehabs accept government funding, but not all do, so when choosing a rehab facility or program to enter, it is important to check before beginning treatment.


Medicare and Medicaid

Both Medicare and Medicaid are federal and state-funded insurance programs. Both cover alcohol treatment assistance, but there are a few differences. Medicare is designed for low-income families, especially those living below the poverty line. Medicaid is designed for Americans who are 65 years or older as well as those with disabilities. Eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid coverage varies from state to state. Some states cover more days in rehab than others, for example.

Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits

Alcoholism is unfortunately prevalent among veterans. Many veterans began drinking as a way to cope with the high levels of stress and trauma they experienced in the military. The Veterans Administration offers programs that are designed to deal with alcohol use disorders. Their programs primarily focus on therapies and counselling because many veterans are suffering from co-occurring disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, chronic pain, and sleep disorders.

The VA offers daytime, nighttime, and even weekend options in order to accommodate as many veterans as possible.

Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare)

The Affordable Care Act included addiction treatment as one of its ten essential health benefits, which means that individuals can no longer be denied coverage or charged more if they suffer from alcoholism or other related conditions.

ACA plans vary in terms of services, but some of the types of treatment that are covered include medication, counselling, detox, and rehab.

State Alcoholism Treatment Options

Many states offer their own alcoholism treatment programs in addition to those already being provided by the federal government. However, every state is different in terms of the level and type of services available. These addiction treatment services may vary tremendously from one location to the next. State treatment services are often highly sought out due to factors such as cost and availability. Because of this, they often have long waiting lists. To fill in the gaps, some states offer interim care options for individuals with alcohol use disorders to help improve their health while waiting for more comprehensive treatment.

Local Government Alcoholism Treatment Options

Some local governments such as counties, cities, parishes, and townships offer alcoholism treatment programs and services as well. This is especially true in major metropolitan areas. Generally, local government alcoholism treatment options are less comprehensive than state and federal programs, but it depends on the location. For more information, visit the local health department in your area.

If someone in the family is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against substance abuse. But because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.


Rehab is Your Best Chance

Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs or alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.

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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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