Aetna Helps Address Growing Drug Abuse Problem In U.S.

Aetna Helps Address Growing Drug Abuse Problem In U.S.

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Approximately 2.4 million people in the U.S. are struggling with an opiate addiction. This adds up to $72.5 billion in medical expenses to the health care system per year. Given the growing issue of illegal opiate use, Aetna (NYSE: ) announced a new collaboration with CRC Health Group, the nation’s largest provider of addiction treatment and related behavioral health services, to provide comprehensive treatment services to Aetna members.

According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), opioid drugs distributed by retail pharmacies increased from 131 million in the year 2000 to 210 million in the year 2009. The Aetna-Provita Pilot is a new program designed specifically to treat opiate addiction by aligning counseling services with the use of a non-narcotic medication. This program is currently available in CRC treatment facilities throughout California, South Dakota and Texas.

Opiates are a type of narcotic that have been used for centuries to treat pain. Opiates are some of the most commonly abused drugs in the world. They lead to a variety of health issues. The most popular forms of prescription opiates include morphine, Oxycodone, Vicodin and Percocet.

Effective treatments for opiate addiction result in:

“We are pleased to work with CRC Health Group to help make it easier for our members to receive the support and treatment they need,” said Mark Friedlander, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Aetna Behavioral Health. “Aetna Behavioral Health supports the use of evidence based treatment. The combination of medication treatment with counseling helps to eliminate drug cravings, increase treatment completions and lessen the risk that a patient will return to the environment that led to their drug use in the first place.”

Throughout treatment and post-discharge, Aetna and CRC Health Group will ensure the patient’s treatment needs are being met. They will also confirm that patients at risk for relapse are identified early and remain actively re-engaged in treatment.

“Having the opportunity to work with Aetna directly is truly unique and will offer outstanding comprehensive care for patients suffering from addiction,” said Andy Eckert, CEO of CRC Health Group. “It’s important for us to raise awareness of the problem at hand and come up with innovative approaches that help save lives. Our organization treats approximately 29,000 opiate addicts daily and employs the use of evidence-based practices like cognitive behavioral therapy and the 12-step recovery process, with a client-directed approach that drives a strong therapeutic alliance.”

The Aetna-Provita Pilot program is available to Aetna members who are struggling with an opiate addiction. These members must be enrolled in Aetna medical, pharmacy and behavioral health benefits. The following CRC treatment facilities are currently implementing the program:

CRC Health Group is the largest and most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. CRC Health Group offers the largest array of personalized treatment options, allowing individuals, families, and professionals to choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management and therapeutic education needs. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available, while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC programs have helped individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives. For more information, visit .

Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.7 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services and health information technology services. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see .