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For many of us, the road to recovery starts with enrolling in a treatment program, but for many of us, we don’t have access to the professional treatment we need. Many of us don’t think recovery is possible for us, and we lose hope, never taking the steps to seek out help. Others of us are ready to do the work and desperate to get into treatment but can’t find a program that we can afford, one that accepts our health insurance, or even a bed in a hospital. The numbers of people seeking treatment are so high, and sometimes funding for addiction treatment is so low, that countless people who need help are turned away. There are huge disparities in the access to treatment, and these disparities tend to be based on income and socioeconomic status, an injustice that endangers too many lives and puts people out on the street or keeps them trapped in cycles of illness when what they need is professional support.

One of the impediments to treatment is lack of health insurance. When we’re caught up in our cycles of addiction, taking care of ourselves and ensuring our well-being is not something many of us are capable of. We might not have the stability, mental or financial or both, to make sure our medical needs are met and to ensure that we have health insurance if we need it. When the time comes for us to seek treatment, we find ourselves unable to get coverage because of our lack of insurance, and most treatment programs are not affordable for us. Sometimes our access to treatment is impeded by the lack of funding for addiction recovery programs. Treatment centers are being shut down all the time, forcing patients to find alternate centers or places to live. When they can’t locate something, many of them are essentially pushed into homelessness.

Our access to treatment is one of the most important factors in our chances of recovery. Communities ought to prioritize providing safe and accessible treatment to anyone who needs it, and they should ensure that it is available for all. It is a matter of public health and safety. Addiction affects all of us, our families, our neighborhoods, our schools, and our children. Universal access to recovery treatment is a human right.

Riverside Recovery is a drug and alcohol treatment center offering a full continuum of care for people suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.