December 3, 2018 Felicia Durling

New Rehab Laws: Changes to Addiction Treatment in California

Four new laws have recently been signed by Jerry Brown regarding addiction treatment in California. At The Center for Life Change, we are supportive of these changes because of the positive impact that they will have on the addiction recovery industry in our state.

Much Needed Regulation

Up to this point, there has been minimal regulation to manage the addiction treatment system in California. Some people have referred to it as the “Wild West” because of the lack of regulation in the way facilities are implementing treatment programs.

The goal with this new legislation is to create standards in the industry that are backed by scientific evidence. Addiction recovery centers will need to meet specific requirements to gain the licensing required to offer addiction therapy.

Data-Driven Treatments

Researchers have found that non-medical addiction treatments, such as using total abstinence in recovery, has a small success rate: only about 10% of the patients can overcome the addiction. On the other hand, the California Society of Addiction Medicine found that medical-supported treatments resulted in success rates as high as 60 – 90%. One example is the use of buprenorphine to help with opioid addiction.

Currently, the majority of the licensed treatment centers in California use non-medical treatments such as the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous model. While these treatments can be supportive of someone in recovery, it is important that medical options aren’t overlooked. The new laws will have an impact on increasing the use of medication in the treatment of addiction.

Highlights of the New Laws

Here are a few highlights of the changes that will be implemented with these new laws:

  • Patient-brokering is now forbidden, which means that rehab centers cannot pay patients to stay at a specific facility so that the insurance company can be billed. Additionally, money cannot be offered for patient referrals.
  • Patient medical needs will be placed as a priority over the profits of the rehab center.
  • Standards are raised for sober living homes.
  • Safety nets will be in place for patients who experience a relapse in treatment. Centers need to draft plans to support patients in relapse, including the supervision that will be provided while the person is under the influence.
  • Financial relationships between licensed treatment centers and sober living homes will need to have public
  • Continuing education will be provided to doctors so that the medical industry learns more about the right of opioids.
  • Prescription bottles will be labeled with warnings about overdose and addiction risks.
  • Youth athletic programs will have programs in place to teach parents and student-athletes about the risks of opioid use.

These laws are a step in the right direction. But additional changes will need to happen in the future to provide full protection to those in recovery. For more information about your rights and the best treatment programs for addiction recovery in Temecula, talk to our team at The Center for Life Change: (951) 775-4000

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