Every year, state and federal governments spend more than $15 billion, and insurers at least $5 billion more, on substance-abuse treatment services for some four million people. That amount may soon increase sharply: last year, Congress passed the mental health parity law, which for the first time includes addiction treatment under a federal law requiring that insurers cover mental and physical ailments at equal levels...
“What we have in this country is a washing-machine model of addiction treatment,” said A. Thomas McClellan, chief executive of the nonprofit Treatment Research Institute, based in Philadelphia. “You go to Shady Acres for 30 days, or to someclinic for 60 visits or 60 doses, whatever it is. And then you’re discharged and everyone’s crying and hugging and feeling proud — and you’re supposed to be cured.”
He added: “It doesn’t really matter if you’re a movie star going to some resort by the sea or a homeless person. The system doesn’t work well for what for many people is a chronic, recurring problem.”
-Drug Rehabilitation or Revolving Door?