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Healthcare Can Save With Alcohol and Drug Treatment

While the state of California and the United States governments are looking for ways to reduce health care costs, they should consider alcohol and drug treatment as a helpful measure.  The savings that result from treating alcoholism and drug addiction are significant and wide spread.  When individuals stop alcohol and drug abuse, medical conditions tend to improve or disappear.

Alcohol’s effects on the body, for example, touch every major organ.  So an individual with a heart condition, or even a skin condition, complicates it with continued alcohol abuse or dependence.  When alcohol is removed from the body, it has a better opportunity to heal.  And the alcohol free patient is more likely to follow doctor’s orders.

Drug addiction can cause an array of long-term medical problems.  It also results in many 911 calls and emergency room visits for drug overdoses.  These are costly, as most drug addicts can’t afford to pay for these services.  When drug addiction ceases for individuals, the potential for lower emergency medical costs improves.

Funding alcohol and drug treatment will save these costs.  A study has been posted on www.treatmentgap.org that explains the benefits that it would have on healthcare and the economy.  The section below details findings in California.  The full article gives more examples and offers very convincing data.

-- Begin external content --

California: Savings from Addiction Treatment in Health Care Costs

In 2000 researcher Constance Weisner and others studied the overall medical costs of a group of men at an outpatient Kaiser Permanente addiction treatment program in Sacramento, Calif.  They studied the men 18 months before and after they began an outpatient chemical dependency recovery program.  The cost savings were startling:

  • Total medical costs declined 26 percent.
  • Inpatient health care costs declined 35 percent.
  • Emergency room costs declined 39 percent.

“As in previous studies on medical offset, we observed that a group of adult, chemical dependency (CD) patients have substantially higher utilization of medical services and medical costs prior to entry in treatment when compared to other, non-CD, members who are similar in terms of age, gender and length of enrollment,” the researchers wrote.

“We found that the most significant reductions were observed in inpatient use and likelihood of ER use, but other measures (e.g., inpatient days and number of ER visits) also showed substantial decreases.”

-- Source: http://www.soros.org/initiatives/treatmentgap/articles_publications/publications/paper1_20090714/paper1_20090714.pdf --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley, and in Santa Ana.

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