The House passed a bill authorizing the Medicaid program to reimburse the costs of cocaine and opioid addiction treatment in specific inpatient facilities, despite facing resistance from many Democrats, on June 20, 2018. The bill was passed with a 261-155 vote as a part of the House’s two-week effort to pass more than 50 bills to deal with the ongoing opioid crisis that claims nearly 115 lives every day. Although a huge chunk of the legislation had been bipartisan, Representative Mimi Walters’ bill on increasing Medicaid funding for specific treatment attracted significant criticism from some Democrats.
Representative Frank Pallone Jr. and other Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that the bills should take more substance use disorders (SUD) into consideration instead of focusing on only these two types of addictions. He also observed that the latest bill does not specifically set aside federal dollars to raise the standard of community-based services, which according to him, ensured that help reached the needy individuals.
Experts feel that in the next five years, the bill would provide better access to beds in particular inpatient treatment facilities for those on Medicaid with an opioid use disorder (OUD). Further, following an amendment from Representative Bobby Rush lawmakers expanded the scope of the bill by including individuals suffering from cocaine addiction, which was accepted by voice vote. The new law partially lifts a 10-year-old legislation, preventing Medicaid from reimbursing the costs incurred at treatment facilities with more than 16 beds, termed as the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion. This particular barrier was intended to avoid “warehousing of people” with mental disorders in big institutions.
Cocaine is addictive
Addiction to any drug or stimulant is a mental disorder as it makes drastic changes in the brain, which in turn, gives rise to compulsive drug-seeking behaviors. After alcohol, cocaine is the most abused drug, responsible for the maximum number of emergency room visits nationwide.
There is no doubt that snorting a line of cocaine or two, might temporarily trigger pleasurable feelings in users, but when the effect of the chemical wears off, it can lead to adverse outcomes. Studies show that repeated cocaine use can produce addiction and other adverse mental as well as physical health consequences. In addition to life-threatening heart rhythm abnormalities, cardiovascular problems, cocaine is capable of shrinking the gray matter in the prefrontal and temporal regions responsible for memory, attention and decision-making processes. Further, cocaine users are prone to chronic respiratory problems, breathlessness, intense coughing and bleeding and damage of respiratory organs. Further, prolonged use of the drug damages vital organs, such as kidneys, heart and liver, leaving them vulnerable to a variety of infections.
Cocaine addiction can be treated
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies cocaine as a Schedule II drug due to its high potential for abuse and dangerous outcomes. However, the road to complete recovery from cocaine dependence can be a harrowing and lengthy task. The only way to break free from the stronghold of an addictive drug like cocaine is to seek a specialized treatment program to fight the life-wrecking effects of the drug.
If you or a loved one is struggling to break free from addiction to cocaine or any other drug, contact the Sovereign Health of San Clemente, which offers a variety of personalized therapies as part of cocaine addiction treatment in California. Our experienced clinicians use several approaches to identify the root cause of addiction and nip the problem in the bud. Our cocaine detox programs are customized to suit the patient’s needs. For more information, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representatives available for immediate assistance.
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