To: The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate
Anthony's Act - Providing Those Suffering With Addiction a Real Chance at Recovery
The Affordable Care Act must be amended to provide for a minimum of Ninety (90) days inpatient drug or alcohol treatment up to a maximum of One Hundred Eighty (180) days per year at a facility certified to provide such care by the Secretary of Health of the state in which it is located.
Why is this important?
Every day in this country an estimated 187 people die from drug overdose, and another 6,748 are treated in emergency rooms. That averages out to an overdose related hospitalization every 13 seconds and an overdose death every 7½ minutes. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, outstripping traffic fatalities and gun homicides. And every year it gets worse.
In addition to the terrible human toll, substance abuse costs the U.S. economy between $500 billion and One Trillion Dollars annually, depending on what is counted as a cost. Effective treatment can dramatically reduce these staggering numbers. According to several conservative estimates, every dollar invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. When savings related to healthcare are included, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1.
My 24-year-old son, Anthony, died May 31, 2014, following a six-year battle with opioid and heroin addiction that included three unsuccessful short term treatment programs, each lasting less than 30 days, which was all that insurance would pay for.
For most people, this is simply not enough time to recover from the assault addictive drugs make on the body and to restore the life skills that keep a person from relapsing. It wasn’t enough for Anthony.
Research tells us that effective inpatient treatment leads to long term sobriety and fewer relapses. Ninety (90) day residential drug rehab is suggested by professionals as the minimum length of time for effective treatment. Anecdotal evidence gathered from post discharge patient interviews suggests that long-term treatment at a drug rehab facility can decrease the risk of relapse by up to 73%. That can mean the difference between addiction and recovery—or even life and death.
Tell your U.S. Senators and representatives:
Legislation must be enacted immediately to provide for a minimum of Ninety (90) days inpatient drug or alcohol treatment days per year at a facility certified to provide such care by the appropriate authority in the state in which it is located.