Governor Jerry Brown approves a new bill to set specific treatment standards for addiction rehabilitation, while an administrator of a rehabilitation center said the standards are needed as not all drug and alcohol treatment facilities have the best interest in mind for patients.
Doctor Christopher Yadron is the administrator of the Better Ford Center in Rancho Mirage. He said opioid addiction is also a problem in the Coachella Valley that affects indiscriminately just as it does elsewhere in the country.
“Substance use disorder are actually a problem for people of all segments of the community here in the valley,” Dr. Yardon said. “Here at the Betty Ford Center the majority of our patients have an alcohol use disorder, but probably the second most prevalent diagnosis would be an opioid use disorder.”
Senate Bill 823 was signed into law by Brown and its purpose is to set evidence-based standards for addiction treatment as a way to provide better care for patients at rehabilitation centers.
One of the standards if for the State Department of Health care Services to adopt the American Society of Addiction Medicine treatment criteria, a standard the Betty Ford Center follows.
Dr. Yardon said, “Whether it is 12 step facilitation, motivational interviewing, medication assisted treatment.”
He supports the standards as some treatment facilities are in it solely for the money and engage in a practice called patient brokering.
The doctor explains, “Persons acquiring leads of person who needs treatment or an intervention and they will sell that lead to the highest bidder and you can imagine the problems associated with that.”
For example a patient may be charged thousands of dollars for ineffective treatment or one not based on research.
Therefore, Dr. Yadron hopes the change in California law will shift the priority of addiction treatment back to its patients.
He said, “Resources that are evidence based and available, I think that provides hope and I think that can provide people with direction and the support they need.”
The new law will require drug treatment facilities to present evidence-based standards to the state’s health care services department in order to receive an operating license beginning in 2023.