Sunday, February 15, 2009

71% of Americans say that health insurance should cover substance abuse treatment according to survey done by the Hazelton Foundation

On February 3, 2009 the Hazelton Foundation reported on a survey they did of 1,000 families and found that 71% agree that health insurance should cover the cost of treatment but most did not know if their own insurance would cover it.

Even more interesting is that 56% stated that their employer did not offer Employee Assistance Services for employees suffering from substance abuse, mental health, or personal problems.

About 1/3 or the respondents reported that someone in their immediate family has had a problem with substance abuse.

Here is a snippet from the Hazelton Foundation web site report:

Nearly three out of four Americans (71 percent) agree that health insurance should cover the cost of addiction treatment - yet most consumers have no idea if their own health insurance would pay for substance abuse treatment, according to the first-ever "Public Attitudes Toward Addiction Survey" from Hazelden, the national nonprofit organization that helps people reclaim their lives from drug addiction.

With the passage of the U.S. Mental Health Parity Law last October and the Obama administration now designing its agenda on healthcare issues, it's striking that most Americans (77 percent) agree that addiction treatment should be part of healthcare reform. Hazelden's new survey also found that: most Americans (78 percent ) understand that drug addiction is a chronic disease rather than a personal failing; and more than half (56 percent) say their company doesn't have an Employee Assistance Program to help employees deal with problems involving alcohol or other drugs.

Addiction Still Widespread in American Families
Among the most dramatic of Hazelden's survey findings was the prevalence of addiction within American families:

Nearly one-third of Americans responding reported past abuse of alcohol or drugs in their immediate family - and of those households with an immediate family member who had an addiction problem, nearly half (44 percent) reported more than one family member with a drug problem.
A third of the families which reported a drug problem in their immediate family say that a majority of their family members have problems with drugs. With one in six of the respondents dealing with substance abuse in their family, every member of the family has a problem with drugs or alcohol.
When you expand the questions to include both immediate and extended family, virtually half of Americans surveyed reported three or more family members have experienced a problem with drugs during their lives.

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