Did you know that most addiction treatment specialists have little formal education or training in addiction? Fourteen states require only a high school diploma or a GED to become an addiction counselor; 10 require only an associate’s degree.
But it gets worse — fully 20 states in the U.S. don’t require any degree, or don’t even require addictions counselors to be certified or licensed in any way.
Is it any wonder then that many addiction or rehab programs still rely on an outdated model that’s directly dependent upon how long companies are typically reimbursed for treatment — 30 days? Or that many programs still use treatment methods largely unchanged from the 1950s — not research-backed, modern approaches to treatment?
A groundbreaking report published last year from Columbia University lays out the sad facts of addiction treatment in the U.S. As the report notes, “Some [treatment programs] promise “one time” fixes; others offer posh residential treatment at astronomical prices with little evidence justifying the cost. Even for those who do have insurance coverage or can pay out-of-pocket, there are no outcome data reflecting the quality of treatment providers so that patients can make informed decisions.”
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