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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Treatment Shortage

I came across this article talking about the national shortage of treatment beds and the insurance industry:
There's a reason why insurance companies won't pay for it: most treatment fails.
There are a few reasons.  First, heroin relapse is absolutely awful, and yet the pain of going through it without assistance is hardly enough motivation to keep addicts from relapsing.  In other words, addicts are slow learners.
Insurance companies are giant gambling operations, and they bet on what works.  Treatment of the 'medically-approved variety' is expensive, inefficient, and often ineffective.  For every success, there are 5-10 failures.  You would not buy a car with those kinds of stats.
Second, most addicts end up manipulating their way into treatment to get a shower and a few meals, then find some reason to 'Lindsey-Lohan' their ways out of treatment and back onto the streets.  They may not have a plan, but they sure know what they are NOT going to do... which is surrender.
The treatment facilities that I have seen work, and by that I mean work miracles, are places where the addicts actually have to come in with 30 days clean on their own.  yes, they need to take responsibility for their own sobriety for 30 days!
You may wonder, 'But, how is that possible when we say that addicts can't stay sober through their own will-power?'  Let's face facts: you can stay sober through sheer will-power.  It just sucks really bad and general won't last too long.
But, if you are willing to white-knuckle it for 30 days, then you are probably willing enough to actually listen to the counselors and follow directions.  However, if you take an addict, make his withdrawal as pleasant as possible, then start trying to wrestle with his ego, you are almost always going to lose.  Once he starts feeling stronger, he will use that strength to fight recovery and the change he needs to make.
Insurance companies don't make as much money off of this industry as much as the actual providers do.  Look at the prices... what are they paying for? 
I have watched charity rescue missions do far better work than any state or private treatment program, and yet the state-corporate system has all but squeezed out private charity.  I believe the Orthodox Church should start considering its own charity programs (which are just starting in Romania and Russia for example), and I think that if we could just get our acts together, we could be offering a lot of treatment options at much more affordable rates than the state-corporate system.
Corporations are bogged down by profit margins, and state systems die from bureaucracy and managerial malaise.  Our problem is that our community relies on these groups to do what we should be doing.
We should be out there doing this work.


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