Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, relapsing neurological disorder. It is a medical condition that according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is characterized by “an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.” Alcoholism is not uncommon. Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that an estimated 14.5 million American adults aged 12 and older battled an alcohol use disorder (5.3% of this population). Epidemiology of Recovery From Alcohol Use Disorder asserts that “approximately 70% of persons with AUD and alcohol problems improve without interventions (natural recovery), and fewer than 25% utilize alcohol-focused services.” Interesting alcoholism recovery statistics from 2021 include:
- Nearly 36% of people suffering from alcoholism recover after one year.
- Approximately 18% of recovering alcoholics were able to abstain from drinking completely one year later.
- Recovery rates are less than 36% for people with a severe or lifetime alcohol dependence.
- Around 60% of individuals who are sober for two years after AUD remain that way.
Most former alcoholics who remain sober for five years and longer usually stay that way, as Psychology Today indicates the risk of relapse for these people drops to below 15%, increasing their chances are for long-term sobriety.
You Are Covered
There are a variety of treatment options for people struggling with alcohol addiction, and health insurance companies are obligated to provide some level of coverage for such services. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) was passed, which stipulates that insurance companies are no longer able to deny coverage or discriminate against individuals that struggle with substance abuse and/ or addiction. Shortly after, in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into federal law by President Obama. The purpose for signing the ACA into law was threefold: to create affordable health insurance coverage, enabling more individuals to obtain healthcare; to expand the Medicaid program; and to support “innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the cost of health care generally.” Prior to the passing of this law, insurance companies were not obligated to cover pre-existing conditions, such as alcoholism. Before enacting this law, health insurers in the individual market in virtually all states could refuse to issue a policy, charge higher premiums, and exclude coverage for specific illnesses and the body parts and systems they affect. The ACA requires all health insurance plans to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, the ACA stipulates that health insurance companies are obligated to provide similar coverage for the treatment of all diagnosable mental illness, including alcohol addiction.
For Information and Support Substance abuse and addiction can be incredibly dangerous and can result in severe short and long-term consequences. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. There is no reason to go through this alone, and we are here to help. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. We are available anytime via telephone at: 213-389-9964, or you can always email us at: email@example.com.