New Bill Passed Will Improve Treatment for Teen Drug Use

Congress recently passed a bill that will drastically change how healthcare workers and police handle adult and teen drug use–specifically opioid addictions. In teen drug use of opioids, nearly 1 in 23 teens in 12th grade had used Vicodin (a common opioid). It’s obviously an issue that needs to be addressed and this bill is a great first step. NPR published an article covering the large details of the new bill.

What’s in the bill?

The bill is meant to expand the amount of treatment available for adult and teen drug use or addiction. The example used in the article pertained to non-profits and the ability of nurses to treat addiction. The bill will allow PAs and nurses to used the evidence-based standard of addiction treatment: medication. It will also allow non-profit treatment centers to hire PAs and nurses instead of doctors, which are fewer and cost much more.

“Treatment capacity is really a crisis. There just isn’t enough. But what this bill does to address that — it expands the kinds of people who can prescribe medications for addictions. And that’s a very big deal.” –Linda Rosenberg, president of the National Council for Behavioral Health

While the bill falls short on money for funding projects, the more relaxed regulation of addiction medications will largely improve how many people have access to treatment. It also gives the Department of Health and Human Services the ability to provide grants to community groups and states that expand and/or improve treatment programs for adult and teen drug use. Another large accomplishment is with the police departments. It will give the police the opportunity to send those struggling with addiction to treatment centers instead of prison.

Treating adult & teen drug use as a medical issue

Addiction is often viewed as a moral issue, not a medical issue. This is extremely ineffective when it comes to treatment, so this bill is a wonderful step in the right direction. With more treatment being available, those struggling with addiction will be able to fight it in a more effective and efficient way.

Elevations RTC can help!

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, teen drug use, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help each student succeed and move towards a bright future.

For more information about how Elevations RTC treats issue related to teen drug use, please call today!

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