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When it comes to expanding access to addiction treatment services, are states and counties doing enough? While answering the above question is simple, there are several factors to consider; and, it is safe to say that the vast majority of people who require addiction treatment are unable to get the care they need. What’s more, of those who do receive treatment, it is evident that most do not acquire the level of care necessary to bring about long-term results.

Millions of Americans struggle with opioid use disorder! Health experts estimate that some 2.1 million Americans are living with opiate addiction, but it’s likely that the number of opioid addicts is more significant than is reported. Still, millions more meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder and alcohol is a factor in roughly 88,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Providing evidence-based treatment to tens of thousands of people in each state continues to present a real challenge. One of the noteworthy barriers standing in the way of mental health services is a severe lack of funding on both the Federal and State level.

California, like most states, has had a real struggle providing the millions of alcoholics and addicts the care they need. Those who seek help from state and county services wait great lengths of time to get beds in treatment centers, and many opioids addicts do not survive the waiting period. It stands to reason that at least some 1,882 people who died from opioid overdoses in 2017 in California, were on waiting list for treatment.

Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System

opioid use disorder

Last year, 272 San Diegans perished from opioid-related causes. The current wait time for care in a San Diego County-funded opioid inpatient treatment program is 14 days, according to KPBS. In an attempt to cut the length of time addicts must hold on for a bed in a county residential program, San Diego County officials are implementing the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System.

Over the next three years, a more significant amount of federal Medicaid funds will be directed toward addiction treatment services, from $54.6 million to $179.6 million, the article reports. The hope is to see a 30 percent increase in the number of people receiving care at county-funded centers. More than 11,300 people in San Diego County accessed treatment at such facilities last year. Officials expect to see a noteworthy slash in wait times for a bed, as well. The Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System is meant to slash the 14-day wait to just 24 hours.

“Right now we have somewhere between 40 and 45 percent of people who complete their treatment but we got to be better than that. We got to be able to show that they’re actually achieving good outcomes in terms of their life, in terms of staying sober over the long haul,” said Alfredo Aguirre, director of Behavioral Health Services for San Diego County.


Southern California Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

At Hope by the Sea, our addiction treatment clinicians and counselors rely on evidence-based practices to help people overcome opioid use disorder. If you are one of the more than 2 million Americans struggling with this most severe condition, please reach out to our team as soon as possible. We can field any questions you may have, 24 hours a day.