Giving Compass' Take:
- Despite their effectiveness, only a few family-based residential addiction treatment centers operate in rural areas.
- These treatment centers provide family-based services like childcare while parents recover from substance abuse and addiction disorders. However, there are many barriers to accessing and opening more of these centers in rural places where need is prevalent.
- Read about decreasing substance abuse stigma in rural towns.
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Even with higher success rates, family-based residential addiction treatment centers remain the exception; centers in rural areas are rarer still, with waiting lists ranging from two to six weeks, reports Christina Saint Louis of KFF Health News. Recovering Hope Treatment Center in eastern Minnesota's Kanabec County is the state's only rural residential treatment center and "one of only five providers in the state that offer family-based residential treatment, allowing women to enter the program while pregnant or to bring one of their children younger than 5 with them for the duration of their stay."
Research supports the success of family-centered approaches to addiction treatment, but costs, lack of funding and staffing struggles prevent the model from becoming the standard of care. "And because of that complexity, families in rural areas are less likely to find such a residential treatment program in their communities," Saint Louis writes. "Meanwhile, maternal opioid-related diagnoses have increased nationwide. From 2010 to 2017, the rates of women with those diagnoses at delivery increased by 131%, and babies born with withdrawal symptoms increased by 82%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The increases disproportionately affected rural areas."
Women receiving residential treatment tend to have Medicaid, which has lower provider reimbursement rates, contributing to centers limiting or reducing services to cut costs. Saint Louis adds, "Women in the center's residential program previously spent up to an average of 40 days in high-intensity care at the beginning of their treatment, but that time span is now closer to 30 days to contain costs due to those low reimbursement rates."
Family-based care allows children to stay at the center but adds child care and schooling limitations, according to Ashley Snyder, a licensed drug and alcohol counselor at Recovering Hope. Snyder told Saint Louis, "If you don't provide family services, the parents run the risk of losing their kids."
Read the full article about family-based addiction treatments by Heather Close at The Rural Blog.