“With nearly 44,000 deaths a year, more Americans today die from drug overdoses than from car accidents or any other type of injury.
Many of these deaths could be prevented if patients had better access to substance abuse therapy, experts say. Yet people battling addiction say that treatment often is unavailable or unaffordable.
Only 11% of the 22.7 million Americans who needed drug or alcohol treatment in 2013 actually got it, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. While some of those who went without care did so by choice, at least 316,000 tried and failed to get treatment.
“We know addiction treatment saves lives, reduces drug use, reduces criminal activity and improves employment,” says Paul Samuels, president and director of the Legal Action Center, which advocates on behalf of people with HIV or addiction. “The data is there, the evidence is in, but our public policy has not caught up with the science.”
Source: USAToday.com – May 24, 2015