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North Carolina’s Medicaid Expansion: Hope for Those Battling Drug Addiction

In a significant move towards addressing the drug addiction crisis in North Carolina, the state is inching closer to expanding Medicaid coverage. This development could prove to be a lifeline for thousands of low-income residents struggling with substance use disorders who currently fall into a health insurance coverage gap.

Understanding the Coverage Gap

Currently, there are about 600,000 North Carolinians who are too poor to qualify for the Affordable Care Act but do not meet the eligibility criteria for Medicaid. This gap has left many without the means to afford essential treatment for drug addiction. The potential Medicaid expansion, recently approved by the state Senate, aims to bridge this gap, offering hope to numerous individuals in need of support.

A Historic Moment for North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper and House Speaker Tim Moore have heralded this move as historic for the state. The Medicaid expansion deal, poised to fill the coverage gap for uninsured adults, is particularly crucial for those with substance use disorders. For many, the lack of affordable treatment options has been a significant barrier to overcoming addiction.

The High Cost of Treatment for Addiction

Drug addiction treatment, particularly inpatient programs, can be extremely expensive, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 for a 30-day program. Freida MacDonald, a Cary mom who lost both of her sons to circumstances related to drug misuse, emphasizes that the cost of treatment is one of the biggest hurdles for individuals seeking help. Medicaid expansion could dramatically change this landscape, making long-term treatment more accessible.

Rising Overdose Deaths and the Need for Services

North Carolina has seen a 22% increase in overdose deaths in 2021, with 4,041 lives lost. Kelly Crosbie from the NC DHHS Division of Mental Health notes an increase in people accessing substance use services. While this indicates more people are getting help, it also suggests a growing need for these services.

The Challenge Ahead

However, Medicaid expansion is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The state faces a shortage of mental health resources, with most counties lacking adequate support. The influx of new low-income patients with substance use disorders, now with healthcare coverage, raises concerns about whether there are enough resources to meet the demand.

Efforts are underway to address these challenges, from adjusting rates to incentivizing the workforce in state facilities. The goal is to ensure that those who gain coverage can find the help they need.

Supporting the Journey to Recovery

At Solas Health, we understand the critical role that affordable treatment plays in overcoming drug addiction. We've been at the forefront of providing compassionate care for substance use disorders and chronic pain in North Carolina for over twenty years. Our personalized approach, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), is designed to meet the unique needs of each individual.

If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction, Solas Health is here to support you. With the potential expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina, more individuals will have access to the care they need. Don’t wait to start your journey to recovery. Call us at 910-295-7246 and take the first step towards a better life.

 

If you are in need of help, please call us at: 910-295-7246 or message us.

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If you are in need of help, please call us at: 910-295-7246 or message us.

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