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Mythbuster Series: Insurance Won't Cover Treatment

By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

For the addict looking to make some real changes in his or her life concerning their addiction, it goes without saying that there can be some really challenging steps that need to be taken on the part of the addict in order for real change to occur. A little bit of courage, a real desire to change and a willingness to get help are among the stepping stones of an addict’s journey that can lead to major milestones of recovery. This isn’t, by any means, something that is meant to be taken lightly and it also goes without saying that even these seemingly “small steps” can be difficult to even muster the strength to take. Many have had the courage to step out and take the path leading to the road of recovery, some falling short of their goal, but many pushing through, getting back up and continuing to move toward that goal of success. In spite of difficulties that arise including potential relapse, the constant temptation to use again, the shaming from outsiders and more, the addict/warrior presses on trying to remain strong, doing all they can to become the person they desire to be.

So imagine when to their horror, despite their efforts to take those initial first steps, they find out that their health insurance is very limited. In some cases, insurance companies may only make provisions for treatment up to 30 days or even worse, may not provide coverage for treatment at all. When it comes to small businesses, the latter is often the case, not being financially sound to take on such a health plan means often leaving their employees to fend for themselves in the struggle to obtain mental, behavioral, and substance abuse healthcare. For some, 30 days or less may be all that is required for them to recover from the horrors of addiction, but for so many others, 30 days may only be enough to scratch the surface of recovery. Not having the proper resources and/or the necessary recovery time could lead to disappointment and a push into the relapse the addict so vehemently fears and despises.

Dramatic as it may seem, the unfortunate reality is that many are faced with this issue and despite legislative measures being taken, Healthcare Reform continues to be the 500 pound elephant in the room. Thankfully, more measures are being taken to improve it. Here are some facts concerning the matter now. According to The Fix: “The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act mandated that health plans that cover substance abuse do so on equal footing with other types of diseases in terms of co-pays, deductibles, treatment limitations and other factors. But the act did not require coverage of substance abuse. The Affordable Care Act then mandated coverage of mental health and substance abuse for both Medicaid and private plans offered on the state and federal health care exchanges.” (https://www.thefix.com/content/insurance-coverage-substance-abuse-improving-still-limited)

The good news is that things are on the upswing concerning these matters and much is being done to improve upon making coverage more readily available as needed for those struggling with addiction. Parkdale is happy to discuss financial options and will do all we can to help potential clients obtain the necessary treatment available to get them on the road to recovery. For more information on this topic and to find out alternatives in insurance options, visit: https://www.thefix.com/content/insurance-coverage-substance-abuse-improving-still-limited and for more information on Parkdale Center visit us at parkdalecenter.com

The Realism Of Drug Addiction

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I knew all about my craft.  I am was in total control.  How was this any different from a dietitian modifying their intake or a trainer using his background to sculpt his body?  “I’m doing this under the safest of conditions”, was my maxim.  “If I just stick with clean supplies and remember to use sterile technique then I’ll be just fine.”  These were the thoughts echoing through my opiate addled mind as I propped myself up between the toilet and the sink in the single occupancy bathroom that I had turned into my own personal opium den.

I loved everything about it.  The ritual always culminated in a wave of feel-good euphoria as I drifted further into the warm embrace of my drugs.  And it was any drug.  Anything I could get my hands on was sufficient after my initial sample platter of experimentation.  I wasn’t picky.  I was an unlikely mix of anxious and groggy but I wasn’t picky.  I’d show up to any case any time and I’d definitely stay late!  As a matter of fact I’d dread vacations.  A time to enjoy my family and friends and to relax was spent withdrawing in misery.

I was always managing.  For a type A personality like me, whether I created the chaos or not, I got a kick out of solving things.  The craving and using cycle could be quite painful but at some level it was an end in and of itself.  To slyly divert a drug, steal off into the bowls of the hospital and untangle all the knots in my stomach was a thrilling ride.  It created a solvable problem that I could manage quite adeptly.  There was something sexy about anesthetizing a patient only minutes after tying off my foot with a tourniquet and injecting myself with drugs.  After the injection I would quickly remove the tourniquet and from my thrown on the bathroom floor raise my foot in the air as if to salute the drug as gravity hastened it’s journey to my heart. 

My heart often skipped a beat.  Whether it was when the warmth of the drug hit my chest or when I almost got caught injecting while crouching beneath the surgical table pretending I was checking my various monitoring equipment.  However, like Icarus, you can only fly that close to the sun for so long before you come crashing down. 

My run at juggling addiction and medicine didn’t last very long.  In fact, the last day that I worked I knew it was the day that I would get caught.  I had a very good idea of what was to come in the form of lost licenses, court dates, and unemployment but I couldn’t stop myself.  This is what addiction looks like but there is always hope.  The journey to put the pieces back together is far from over but it helps me to revisit these memories.  Not as a euphoric recall but as a warning of where I’ve been and where I can easily go again...