Family Support and Addiction Task Force Recommends More Affordable Help for Families to Improve Access to Care SUD – State of Reform

At a recent meeting of the Arizona House Ad Hoc Committee on Adolescent Mental Health, the Family Support and Substance Abuse Task Force presented recommendations to improve access to care for youth in the Arizona suffering from substance use disorders and their families.

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A spokesperson for the task force stressed the importance of improving access to treatment for these young people and their families.

“It is not an easy process for families [to access treatment],” they said. “When you find out you have a child in crisis and you need some kind of addiction support, it’s very difficult and it becomes very arduous and overwhelming in a time already overwhelming for a family.”

The first recommendation is to commission a state department to develop a community information center to address the lack of easy access to information and resources regarding substance abuse in the state. The spokesperson noted that most families do not know where to find information when they need it, as there is currently no centralized location to send people, families and organizations who need this information. .

The task force recommends that state agencies work with coalitions and nonprofit organizations to provide this information on prevention, education, crisis management, treatment, aftercare and support.

The second recommendation is to increase the number of providers, residency programs, and apprenticeship programs in the state, as well as reevaluate licensing requirements for providers. The spokesperson said these actions would address long wait times for care, lack of facilities in communities across the state, and lack of skilled labor in needed areas and locations.

The third recommendation is to increase affordability of care for substance use disorders for families. The task force recommends that the State introduce tax credit deductions for inpatient and outpatient treatment to ease some of the financial burden on families.

The fourth recommendation is to reassessing consent laws regarding addiction care for young people so that 16 and 17 year olds can consent to being cared for for a 4 month stabilization period. The spokesperson explained that, in this case, the young person’s parents must be informed if there is a risk of suicide, and care would be limited to mental stabilization therapy only.

They said this would address the need to treat adolescents in crisis who do not have parental or guardian consent for treatment, as well as a lack of treatment often due to the inability to contact a parent or guardian. guardian due to addiction and/or homelessness.

“You can’t talk about adolescent mental health [without speaking about substance misuse and homelessness]. They all cross paths,” the spokesperson said. “We should be able to make good changes with whatever we’re working on.”

The fifth recommendation is to provide additional support to school districts to implement substance abuse prevention education. This would involve providing additional funding to school districts to provide mental health first aid training, substance abuse awareness training and peer education to youth, staff and parents.

According to the task force, the state should also create school district website toolkits for families and students in English and Spanish, and also create a city-wide anonymous text messaging app. the state. The spokesperson said this would address the lack of consistency in drug prevention awareness across school districts and the need for current approved curriculums.

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