Of particular interest to NAATP and our members should be the National Treatment Plan. It recognizes many of the public policy goals NAATP has been advocating for years, including the need to increase access to Substance Use Disorder treatment and support long-term recovery. It encourages public and private sector employers to pay for treatment.
The gap in treatment access revolves around financial barriers and a lack of enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Parity). We are pleased that the report also recognizes the stigma attached to the disease.
An item long advocated by NAATP, which is recommended in the National Treatment Plan, is better training for healthcare providers to recognize symptoms of Substance Use Disorders, so they can refer patients to appropriate treatment.
The plan also mentions the employee shortage in the addiction treatment workforce and recognizes the need to assist recovering individuals in obtaining housing and employment as they connect with support groups.
Another item discussed in the report is the issue of clinically-inappropriate, poor-quality, or fraudulent treatment. NAATP has been at the forefront of raising the bar of treatment standards through our Quality Assurance Initiative. That effort was followed up with NAATP’s best practices Guidebook.
These tools have been provided to the Administration and members of the United States Congress with incredibly positive results.
NAATP stands ready to collaborate with like-minded organizations and any agency of the government to advance the objective of increased access to quality treatment options for all Substance Use Disorder patients.