Understanding Insurance and Addiction Rehab

Thousands of people in the United States suffer from substance misuse disorders.  Addiction is a difficult subject to talk about.  There’s addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling…all sorts of things. While all of them impact our lives, substance misuse disorders in particular are incredibly important to seek treatment about.

While insurance did not always cover this treatment, thanks to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, most private insurance companies are now required to offer addiction rehab coverage. This, of course, includes addiction to alcohol. 

What is Alcohol Addiction?

This question is a nuanced one.  It’s hard to define alcohol addiction in one broad swoop.  That being said, there are plenty of resources out there that describe it in more technical terms.  You can find one such explanation on WebMD, right here

When you drink alcohol, it makes your brain release a chemical called dopamine.  This is a feel-good chemical responsible for reward-systems in your mind.  It reinforces alcohol as a positive thing in your routine, even if it actually isn’t.  You’ll want to drink more alcohol in the future.

Unfortunately, this means that addiction can happen very easily with it.  A person might start to experience withdrawal symptoms if they don’t drink enough.  They might even have to start drinking a higher volume of alcohol to prevent those uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

If you find that you or a family member starts to prioritize events that include it over ones that don’t, that might be an early sign of alcoholism.  They could also have changes in their routine, including sleep patterns.  It’s best to try to catch it early, but it’s not always possible.

What are some of the risks for Alcoholism?

There are a lot of different risk factors that play into a person’s risk for developing alcoholism. Social atmosphere is a big one.  If you’re surrounded by people who often drink, you will naturally want to fit in.  Drinking frequency also plays into addiction.

These are somewhat avoidable risks for getting addicted.  However, there are other risks that you can’t avoid.  One of these is genetics. Risk for alcoholism is significantly increased if your parent or another close family member is also an alcoholic.

Some other risks include mental illnesses and trauma responses.  If you have low self esteem or experience peer pressure often, this can also influence a potential addiction. It can be easy to slip into alcoholism without even realizing it.  That’s why it’s so important to seek treatment if you find yourself addicted.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

If you or a loved one is impacted by alcohol addiction, there are several options for treatment.  You might feel overwhelmed or lost on where to begin.  You could pursue a treatment at home, via social support and attempting to quit cold turkey.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work.

Inpatient programs, otherwise known as rehab, are another option.  A concern a lot of people have about these programs is whether insurance companies cover this treatment option.  The answer is quite often yes!  If you’re interested in this, you could check out the Blue Cross Blue Shield alcohol rehab for more information about insurance policies and impatient programs.

Some other options include behavioral therapies and medication.  The best thing to do if you feel like you have an alcohol addiction problem is to talk to your primary care provider.  Your PCP should be able to help recommend your next step – especially if you’re not sure what to do.

What Can You Expect if You Pursue Rehab Services?

So – you or a loved one has decided to get rehabilitation services for your substance misuse disorder.  How can you prepare?  What can you expect?  Well, there are a few things to keep in mind.  There are several blogs out there, like this one https://www.addictiongroup.org/blog/what-is-rehab-like/, that detail some firsthand experiences in rehab!


If you’re going, it’s important to prepare.  You shouldn’t be bringing a lot of items with you.  Some good things to take are clothing – enough for an extended stay, materials for a hobby (such as a sketchbook if you enjoy creating art), some books to read, and a comfort item or two from home.  You don’t want to bring too many items to rehab, since it’s meant to be an experience that takes you away from your life impacted by addiction to give you a fresh start.

It’s important to keep in mind that your items will be checked when you go into rehab.  They want to make sure you aren’t bringing and of the substance you are addicted to inside the center, or that you aren’t bringing something dangerous in such as a knife.  This is for the safety of yourself and everyone else in the facility.

What Might Happen During Your Stay

When you are at an impatient program, you will likely have a routine to follow.  Sometimes, nurses and aides will wake everyone in the facility up quite early.  Establishing a routine is really important in these programs, which is why there is such an emphasis on it. 

Your health is important to your care providers, so you will probably have your vitals taken.  Nothing to really stress about, and it further creates a structured day to follow.  After this, you might be taken to a group event or solo session with a mental health professional.  

You will likely have some free time, of course.  That’s where the few items that you bring really come into play.  It might be hard at first, especially with withdrawal symptoms.  Rehabilitation centers are there to help you deal with these problems.

Rehab is a Worthwhile Service

Overall, if you’re on the fence, I highly recommend checking out a rehabilitation service for substance misuse disorders.  Especially if you were worried because you were uncertain about insurance covering it. Now you know – insurance policies should cover rehab services following the passage of the American Care Act.  

These services are vital to public health.  Addition is a serious disease that deserves treatment just like any other.

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