Only 1 Cent of Every Healthcare Dollar Goes Toward Addiction

shutterstock_135685916Only 1 cent of every healthcare dollar in the United States goes toward addiction, and few alcoholics and drug addicts receive treatment.

This heartbreaking statistic comes with another one: Only 10 percent of the 23 million Americans with alcohol or drug problems receive treatment! (1) This is due in part to the stigma attached to addiction, and the fact that many people who need treatment don’t have insurance – and it doesn’t help that many facilities across the country are at or near capacity.

Marjorie Yates, associate director for Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance of Virginia, says for many individuals, treatment is “basically unavailable, and if it is available, the wait is so long that they can be dead by the time they get actual inpatient treatment.” In extreme cases, she notes some will illegally go to the emergency room and pretend to be suicidal, because that’s the only way they can get treated. (2)

Wait-lists can potentially be very harmful, especially in make-or-break situations. I’m proud to say that the facilities of American Addiction Centers typically have little-to-no wait-lists, ensuring as many clients are treated under our care as possible.

This week, we’ll be reporting on big news: the upcoming federal healthcare overhaul, which is slated to help millions of uninsured Americans become eligible for the insurance they so desperately need to recover.

Do you think we should be spending more of our healthcare dollars on addiction treatment?


(1) National Institute of Drug Abuse

(2) Daily Progress

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