Navigating Through a Broken System

Did you or your family struggle with trying to get you help? Did you have so many questions? Will my insurance cover this? Is this place going to save my loved one? Will they meet drug dealers there?

In my case, my family asked every one of these questions…multiple times. Some of these questions you may think are ridiculous and to be honest, now that I am sober, sometimes I did too. The reality is that these questions are actually very common and not ridiculous.

Our treatment system is broken and has been for a very long time.

Typically, when someone is looking for help and it is their first time, they think a hospital is their best bet. Why wouldn’t they think that? A hospital is to help sick people.

Our family thought the same way. We were fortunate enough to have went to a local hospital that had an inpatient substance abuse floor. Not all hospitals are like that though, in fact most are not.  

Times have changed for sure with hospitals being more equipped to handle substance use navigation. Let me rephrase that…Here in Massachusetts it has. I know other states are working hard at this; however, I know states in which hospitals still try to get addicts and alcoholics out of their ER as quick as possible… with no resources.  

So how do you navigate such a broken system? Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer to this. This isn’t a one size fits all option. What works for some may not work for others.

I would argue that we have quite a few resources and or treatment options around here. I don’t think the issue is the number of programs. I believe it is the lengths of time allowed in programs and or community resources available to people in recovery after being in recovery for some time.

Options for treatment centers typically are dictated by appropriate level of care, location, and insurance. Unfortunately, this is when barriers tend to interfere with someone needing help asap. Someone may have state insurance and all the beds are full for them to get help. Someone may have private insurance, but they get denied coverage for an appropriate level of care that 99 people think this person deserves and the one other person thinks they don’t…the insurance company.

My family tried literally anything and everything. I had private insurance at first and then in the end I had state insurance. They felt hopeless many times on where to send me because my life was in the hands of someone they didn’t know.

When they found help and went to support meetings themselves, they seemed to gain a bond with like minded people they could trust regarding advice on treatment options. I also feel that is the best way to go. Find someone you trust and or has been through it.

My parents were fortunate enough to have a close friend’s son guide them through the process. He is pretty well known around here. His name is Marty. I am forever grateful that he informed my parents on places to go and where he thought would be a good fit for me. I have been recovery for over 14 years now due to the help and guidance he provided my family.

Treatment is so important for people like me and is such a crucial component to someone achieving recovery. There is a deadly crisis out there taking our youth every day. Please continue to advocate, please continue to ask for treatment on demand. We need all the voices and stories we can to help fix this broken system.

If you need any help with trying to navigate a very complex treatment healthcare system I am here to try and help.

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