Anyone with a home group in Alcoholics Anonymous or U-47700 Narcotics Anonymous knows the joys of entering a room full of familiar faces brimming with the spirit of recovery. It’s a home away from home – a safe refuge where life’s elements are shared, some intimate, some hilarious.

But that’s soon to be a distant memory. One day, as a sober old goat, I can see myself recalling the glory days of AA with my grandkids. They might wonder why, at times, grandpa still refers to himself as an alcoholic. Or how he jokes with his old friends that they should, “Keep coming back!”

If you’re sober in AA or NA, chances are you gawk at the death of 12 step recovery. You shouldn’t. Here’s why.

Health Insurance Finds Loophole in Obamacare

Barack Obama touted the ability of his health care initiative to address the need for access to substance abuse and mental health services. It didn’t.

The “Final Rule” is part of the Mental Health Parity Act and stipulates that all addiction treatment must be evidence-based medicine. Insurance companies capitalized on this to justify denial of patient claims on the basis of a facility’s 12 step program model.

Now I won’t go into the fact most treatment center’s claims of a “12 step-based” program is dubious. Usually, 12 step-based means a few classes a week for an hour or so. But health insurer’s response to the “Final Rule” shifted addiction treatment’s model to a more psychopharmacological approach.

This means patients often leave facilities on medications like Suboxone or anti-depressants. Again, I won’t go into the hazy claim of anti-depressant efficacy (hint: click the link if you want to read more). And I’m certainly not anti-medication with regards to addiction recovery. Yet I can’t help but think there’s a good chance over-medication in modern substance abuse treatment is right around the corner. Scratch that, it’s already here.

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