Forbes magazine cites that the drug and alcohol rehabilitation industry in the United States reached $35 billion by fall of 2015.

The SAMSHA study in conjunction with the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) study highlights the following findings:

  • 26 million adults needed substance abuse treatment in the past year.
  • As of 2016, an estimated 2.3 million people received treatment at a rehab center in the past year.
  • This number represents 8.8 percent of the 26 million people who needed substance use treatment in the past year.
  • Those who require substance use treatment, use a continuum of care from detox to inpatient or outpatient in 90-day cycles.

The Parity Act

The Parity Act, which was passed in 2008, has elevated mental health and substance abuse benefits to the same level as medical/surgical benefits.

This law ensures that those who suffer substance abuse will not only receive a similar level of care, they will also have continual coverage despite any future challenge the healthcare industry may face.

The case for parity has been based primarily on the fairness argument that insurance should not discriminate against people with mental illnesses or who suffer substance abuse. Parity equalizes benefit design provisions, putting them on par with other medical benefits in private insurance.

While it’s thought that mental health and substance abuse parity might increase the nationwide cost of insurance, studies show that with private group insurance, parity did not increase insurance-related costs, while also extending coverage for mental health or substance use treatment.

In the decade after the passage of the Parity Act, many states have passed their own mental health and substance abuse parity laws. Some states have even gone further toward full parity by guaranteeing treatment for these issues.