Virginia Consumer Healthcare Alliance

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From the Alliance

Barriers to Treatment

I am a Registered Nurse, and mother of a daughter with substance use disorder. I have had several encounters with her in Hospitals. I am embarrassed and disappointed by the negative attitudes and lack of supportive treatment she received. Doctors and Nurses need to be educated that addiction should be treated as any other medical condition. This is supported by the Parity Laws. If a person with diabetes comes to the hospital in need of dialysis they are not given a list of facilities and sent home. The same respect and responsible treatment should be provided to an individual seeking help to detox. Treatment should begin in the hospital when the individual is ready. This is a barrier to people getting help. I have talked to many professionals in the field of addiction as well as active or former addicts. There is a concensus among all that the hospitals will do nothing to help an addict that wants help.