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Comments about ‘More than 16K addicts to be eligible for insurance’

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Published: Sunday, April 28 2013 10:11 p.m. MDT

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Reasonable Person
Layton, UT

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The article is obviously written to be *against* insuring the addicts, but how about asking families who struggle with addiction?
Isn't it better to treat the addiction, than to throw them in prison where they become hard-core?

I also note how you chose an inflammatory illustration.

Tators
Hyrum, UT

To Reasonable Person:

What you fail to understand is that the additional 16,000 people who will become eligible for treatment are not currently in prison. In fact, the vast majority of people in society who are addicted are not, and usually have never been, incarcerated. You probably work and associate with multiple people in this category and never even realize it. It's usually a private battle that most keep hidden and private.

Because of the extent of the addiction problem in this country (the article said 8.2% of people in Utah alone), the legal system usually only imprisons drug pushers and sellers... and rightfully so, since they are the ones who facilitate the problem.

Just realize there are associated costs no matter which options are chosen. As with many other things in life, the trick is in choosing the best benefit-to-cost ratio for both society and for the individuals involved. That's not always as simple as it may initially seem to be,since the tentacles of such problems can become very far reaching.

Reasonable Person
Layton, UT

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I fully realize that, Tators.
But under our current system, we'll be sure they end up in prison AFTER they've committed crimes to get more drugs.

Maybe IF we treated mental illness seriously, we'd not have as many self-medicating addicts?

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

I have mixed emotions on this issue. Insurance care is not "free" as the author infers. It will cost every policy holder more in premiums. Addiction treatment does not have a very good success rate, people go in and out multiple times, and some never quit permanently.

With that in mind, how much money do we divert from other health care needs to fund more public programs/"services" to treat a self acquired problem? Alcohol, tobacco are legal in all 50 states, Marijuana is legal in Colorado, Oregon and sort of in California.

Why should the public treasury be charged with attempts to cure addictions to legally available substances?

As a retired public employee I am aware that the first law of any organization, especially public "service" organizations is to grow the program, enlarge the base and seek more money for "services" that always are needed, necessary and essential to life itself. How did we ever manage before all these "services" came along? Inquiring minds want to know.

JWB
Kaysville, UT

I think of the Salt Lake Mayor Ross "Rocky" Anderson who cut out he DARE program and how many people could have benefitted from that program in the past 13 or more years. It is amazing to see the marketing used by "alcoholic beverage" producers to get a new audience of teenagers. Cigarettes "tobacco" and alcoholic beverage products have a lot of studies to show the ill-effects. However, "wine" producers always state that their products can help alleviate problems for the little use, "everyday". But always be responsible, is the catch phrase. "Don't drive and drink." There are still plenty of accidents caused by inattention but drinking is a known hazard as the brain can't even overcome the texting thumb while drinking.

Public treasury relates to tax dollars provided by public citizens and private citizens. We don't spend enough on prevention programs in substance abuse as that takes away freedoms that people say they have to try the "new addictive product". Addictive products take these "new" people down the road to addiction, which is bondage, not freedom. Some claim it's choice but they lose choice when it impacts on others, as hit and run.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@ Strider303: The question that must be asked is which will be cheaper to society in the long run - ongoing treatment for addiction with the hopes that eventually the addict will be able to stay sober, or ignoring the problem and treating the symptoms?

Ongoing use of addictive substances negatively impacts overall health and ability to work and care for family, hard-core addiction can lead to criminal activities in an effort to maintain access to the substance, and there is also the impact of performing public functions, such as driving, while under the effect of these substances.

The Affordable Care act will insure people who are not currently insured and will require those who can afford it to pay towards the cost of that insurance, so the full cost of insurance is not borne by society.

Examination of current treatment protocols indicates that there is efficacy and on-going efforts to treat addiction can have positive effects in the overall cost to society of addiction.

Societal costs of treatment are lower than societal costs of non-treatment. Plus, it makes for a better world.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

What is cost to jail 16,000 people per day?

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