Too Poor to Sober Up

Health officials say rehab admissions are down because of poor economy.

Health officials at a local treatment and detox center say admissions are way down, and the poor economy is too blame.

According to management at the Scripps McDonald Center, a 28-day residential treatment and detox program for drugs and alcohol, admissions for the residential recovery program are off by about 50 percent although the need for treatment has increased. Center officials said they believe the reasons for reduction is due to the fact that people are having difficulty paying for the program and because the benefits offered through insurance companies have changed.

Admissions to the detox unit, which lasts between three and five days, however, have spiked by 30 percent, authorities said.

Medical detox is considered a "medical benefit" and much easier to get approval from by the insurance companies.

Hospital officials said that it would be more beneficial for patients to undergo detox and then be admitted to the 28-day residential recovery program. The problem is that patients who "dry out" are not mentally strong enough to complete the addiction recovery process and consequently are more prone to suffering relapses.

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