Alcohol and drug addiction has long been an issue of concern in America. In recent years, a rising epidemic in opioid abuse has generated new attention for addiction-related issues, as concerned citizens, public health officials, and elected representatives all struggle to come up with solutions to the problem. The issue was even raised in more than one debate during the last election. One issue that has been cited as a common concern in many circles involves access to some of the better treatment options out there – particularly for those who rely on traditional Medicaid for their insurance coverage. A recent announcement should provide hope for those Indiana residents, as a leading addiction treatment option will now be covered by the Medicaid program.
The treatment is offered by CleanSlate Centers, which has been praised for its groundbreaking work in both alcohol and opioid addiction assistance. The group recently announced that its treatment systems are now covered under the Indiana Traditional Medicaid program. That means that residents in the state who rely on Medicaid for their insurance coverage can now gain access to these treatment options at sites located in four Indiana cities: Fort Wayne, Elkhart, Merrillville, and Anderson, with a fifth location scheduled to be open sometime in the next three months.
CleanSlate is a company that has been in operation since 2009. It began its operations with a mission to address the rise in opioid abuse, and has focused its attention on science-based outpatient treatment for more than 14,000 patients suffering from addiction. While CleanSlate initially focused its efforts on Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, it expanded into the Indiana market in 2016. Already, the company has been recognized as a leading innovator in the field of addiction medicine.
The CleanSlate Centers are a nationwide medical group that offers addiction treatment that is provided in an outpatient setting. Unlike many addiction therapies that are based on addressing the psychological component of the addiction lifestyle, CleanSlate emphasizes the medicinal part of the addiction equation, relying on evidence-based approaches to deal with these serious issues.
CleanSlate focuses its opioid addiction treatment on both heroin and prescription drugs, using two of the most proven treatment options available in the marketplace today: Vivitrol and bubrenorphine, otherwise known as Suboxone. Bubrenorphine is the medication used to replace the opioids and help patients deal with withdrawal, craving reduction, and restoration of normal function. It’s typically used in conjunction with other support techniques like counseling and is a fundamental component in the CleanSlate recovery process.
Vivitrol is the next-stage medication used to facilitate continued relapse prevention. Whereas bubrenorphine is delivered in either tablet or film form, Vivitrol is injected once a month, after the patient has been properly detoxified, and is often used for those who have completed their bubrenorphine regimen. It is a scientifically proven way to block cravings by affecting the bran receptors responsible for initiating them.
Why it Matters
This is an important issue, as heroin and opioid abuse has continued to grow in recent decades. The problem is growing on many fronts, with different government agencies reporting sharp increases in a wide range of important statistical areas. Illegal heroin imports have risen dramatically, with the DEA reporting that the amount of heroin seized at the border in the southwest increased fourfold from 2008 to 2013, and now amounts to more than 2,196 kg of product each year.
That increase in illicit supply has been met with a sharp increase in the number of heroin deaths. Those incidents have tripled in number in recent years, with nearly 13,000 heroin-related deaths in 2015. Much of the increase in opioid deaths has been related to synthetic opioids, including fentanyl – an illegal opioid that has been an increasingly troubling problem in the streets of many cities across the United States. It’s likely that many of those victims weren’t even aware that they were using fentanyl, since it is often sold by dealers who use it mixed with other drugs.
While there have been treatment options available for those suffering from opioid addiction and other dependencies, availability is meaningless if patients cannot access the care they need. For many years, low-income Indianans have struggled to obtain the treatment care needed to overcome serious addiction, thanks to inferior insurance coverage. Given the costs associated with addiction treatment, it’s no surprise that so many low-income individuals have continued to struggle with substance abuse issues.
It is rare for government insurance to provide access to high-end treatment, so this should be viewed as a win for the state of Indiana and for those addicts who need assistance with their recovery efforts. Opioid addiction has been a problem that has seen few viable solutions in recent years, and CleanSlate is one of the few treatment providers out there with proven success in helping these victims recover from their dependency.
Help at Last
For individuals suffering from addiction, and their families, this new access to coverage for effective drug treatment couldn’t come at a better time. While much can still be done to slow and reduce the influx of opioids across the southern border, that doesn’t always translate into quick results for Americans suffering from the consequences of this epidemic. By taking affirmative steps to provide funding access to effective treatment for both opioid abuse and alcohol addiction, the Medicaid program has taken a huge step forward in the fight against the addiction scourge.
At Frank & Kraft, Attorneys at Law, we welcome this new opportunity for the state’s low-income residents to benefit from advanced addiction treatment, and look forward to bearing witness to the positive results this access will hopefully bring to that underserved community. Meanwhile, our estate planning and elder law experts will continue to assist all residents of Indiana with their legacy, business, retirement, and Medicaid planning needs to ensure that they have the strategies and tools needed to protect themselves, their families, and their long-term interests. If you’d like to learn more about how effective estate planning and elder law strategies can benefit you and your loved ones, call today at (317) 684-1100, or contact us at our website.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.