21st Century Cures Act which can be viewed as President Obama’s final touch to the healthcare industry comes at a much needed time for Americans. Addiction is now more than ever being treated as a disease from a medical industry standpoint. Based on the Surgeon General’s report last month drug overdose is the number one cause of accidental death in our nation. The “Cures Act” places opiate addiction in the same medical arena as Alzheimer’s and cancer. No doubt it is rapidly becoming as big of an industry as cancer treatment has become. Nearly three million American’s are needing immediate treatment for life threatening abuse.
With funding pouring into the substance abuse industry regulation and change is also being anticipated from states and providers. The biggest adjustment to date is that all of this funding will be placed into medication assisted treatment facilities (MAT). To date abstinence based programs heavily outweigh the number of MAT programs nationwide. Abstinence based treatment has been fairly successful combatting alcohol addiction throughout the decades but based on recent studies is about thirty percent less effective with opiate addicts.
President Obama’s Affordable Care Act provided addicts treatment who had not previously been provided such care. In his final act for healthcare he further broadens availability for addicts. This second time around it will just be more tailored to opiates and focus more on medically based treatment. For many providers they will need to widen their treatment options to include MAT treatment to be able to receive this new wave of funding.