California Looking to Pay People with Substance Abuse Disorder to Stay Sober

California Looking to Pay People with Substance Abuse Disorder to Stay Sober

October 18, 2021

California Looking to Pay People with Substance Abuse Disorder to Stay Sober

Substance Abuse

California would become the first state in the country if they implement their plan to pay people with substance abuse disorder to stay sober. Drug overdose deaths have ravaged the state leaving its leaders scurrying for solutions. Unable to control the situation, the ruling leaders have thought of this radical idea to save people’s lives.

This is not the first time that people are going to be paid to stay away from substances. The federal government has been doing the same for many years now with military veterans, with some very positive results. This has been one of the most effective ways to curb the rampant use of drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and other stimulants—substances for which no pharmaceutical intervention is available.

How the system works

It is for people who stay in the treatment and complete it successfully. They are entitled to small incentives for every negative drug test over a period of time. Those who come out of the treatment without any positive tests can pocket a few hundred dollars in the form of a gift card.

The program is known as “contingency management”. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked for permission from the federal government to make use of the tax dollars to pay for it through Medicaid—the joint state and federal health insurance program for the financially weaker section and disabled, covering nearly 14 million people in the state of California.

On the other hand, a similar plan is already moving through California’s Democratic-controlled Legislature, which has got the go-ahead in the Senate without opposition and is pending in the Assembly.

According to state Sen. Scott Wiener— a Democrat from San Francisco and author of the bill, it is a very effective program that always works. “I think there is a lot in this strategy for everyone to like,” said Wiener.

The total cost of the plan depends on how many people participate. A program paying for 1,000 people could cost as much as $286,000. It is too minuscule compared to California’s total operating budget of over $262 billion, argue supporters of this plan.

California worst-hit by substance abuse

The state of California, like most parts of the country, has been hit hard by opioid abuse, prescription painkillers, and heroin. To make matters worse, for stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine, there is no pharmaceutical treatment available.

Data shows that overdose deaths from stimulants in California shot up nearly four times between 2010 and 2019, and the problem is only worsening since.

Even during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown (as depicted by preliminary data from the first nine months of 2020) the stimulant overdose deaths jumped 42% compared to 2019.

Although dependence on opioids can be dealt with a slew of pharmaceutical treatments helping people to get sober, there are none for stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine. It takes enormous determination on the part of the people to quit such dangerous drugs.

So, people have to be motivated to stay away and go sober from any stimulant use disorder. According to experts, contingency management, such as this above-mentioned program can be fruitful to keep people away from such drugs and head towards sobriety.

However, contingency management is still not widely used because of the ambiguity of the law, whether or not state and federal law allow Medicaid money to pay for it. Californian law prohibits people from profiting or receiving “kickbacks” from treatment programs.

Treatment intervention is the only solution for substance abuse

The malady of substance abuse is still a gnawing problem, and it is not only for California but the entire nation. The struggle with opioids is a war the United States has been fighting for the past several decades.

Substance abuse is a major public health problem and proves costly for the state as individuals. It hits society on multiple levels. It is so pervasive that every single community is affected as is every family. Substance abuse takes a humongous toll on our society at multiple levels.

Substance abuse also affects people psychologically. Long-term drug abuse causes several mental health problems in people. Many people who develop substance use disorders (SUD) are also subsequently diagnosed with mental disorders, and vice versa. So, early intervention becomes necessary to tackle the problem and thwart it from exacerbating.

Get help

If you or a loved one is grappling with a substance use disorder or any mental health problem seek immediate treatment for long-term recovery. Invictus Health Group can help you get access to quality drug addiction treatment centers in your vicinity.

We collaborate with some of the best Treatment Centers in California and can help you in attaining sobriety. For further information call us today at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 548-0190 or chat online with our representatives.

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