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Obstacle to Addiction Treatment: Money

It is difficult enough for addicts to finally admit that they need help. But once they do, many may not be able to get the treatment they desperately need because of money.

Some insurance policies don't cover addiction treatment. And even if they do, the patient costs can be prohibitive.

"Even when outpatient therapy is covered, the co-pay can be too expensive for some clients," Sheela Raja, a clinical psychologist and an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago told "We have a long way to go to making mental health treatment accessible to the average person."

The first thing people should do is analyze their insurance policies and determine if there is addiction coverage.

"People do not plan on having mental health problems," says Tamara Walker, director of operations at Lasting Recovery in San Diego. "When these things arise, all of a sudden they realize their policy does not cover it and they have nothing to lean on. They have to self-pay. An hour therapy session can cost between $90 and $250. If you are looking at psychiatry, an assessment can be $400 just for an hour to two hours."

Mental health problems are frequently related to drug and alcohol use. So if you have health insurance through your employer, you are probably covered for mental health and addiction problems. That's the good news.

The bad news is that the level of coverage varies. For example, The Council for Affordable Health Insurance says 42 states require coverage for mental health treatment.

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