A researcher at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine recently discovered that addiction treatment results improved when teens in a residential program stopped smoking.
The findings are published in the November issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.
The findings have important implications for success in treating addiction since up to three out of four people with such disorders are smokers, a significantly higher
proportion than the overall national smoking rate of one out of every four Americans.
Story about these findings was published in ScienceDaily.
The study found that teens who stopped smoking benefited from lower cravings for alcohol and drugs, and did as well as their peers who smoked in terms of treatment duration, 12-step participation, and global functioning (a numeric scale used by mental health professionals to rate how well clients respond to various psychological and social situations and difficulties).
TRICARE, which provides health coverage for active duty and retired service members, their families, and survivors, will expand treatment for substance abuse and mental health care.
Almost 9.4 million people are covered under the program.
TRICARE, which is run by the Department of Defense, will expand coverage of substance abuse treatment to include intensive outpatient programs for addiction and opioid use disorder.
There will no longer be inpatient day limits for mental health care.
Previously, adults were only covered for 30 days in inpatient mental health facilities.
Children were covered for 45 days.
Health insurance companies, facing an increase in claims for substance abuse treatment, are pushing for changes such as emphasizing medication-assisted treatment over abstinence, according to the Hartford Courant.
Insurers also want to limit prescriptions for opioids and evaluate treatment programs.
Part of the reason the companies are seeing a surge in substance abuse treatment claims is that more 19- to 26-year-olds have insurance, the article notes.
The proportion of claims involving opioids is increasing, especially among teens and young adults. Alcohol remains the largest substance abuse problem.
Cigna’s opioid claims rose from 20 percent of substance abuse cases five years ago to 25 to 30 percent today. Drug and alcohol abuse claims at Aetna rose over the past four years from 15 percent of mental health spending (not including prescriptions) to 30 percent currently.
In May, Cigna announced it is teaming up with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) to...