World Bulletin/News Desk
The costs of drug and alcohol addiction treatment will be covered by the state as part of a new joint initiative by the Health Ministry and the Social Security Institution (SGK).
The SGK, which used to cover only a limited part of alcohol and drug addiction treatment expenditures, will start covering the entire treatment expenses of alcohol and drug addicts. Changing its payment protocol with hospitals, the SGK will pay hospitals, both public and private, for treatment provided to alcohol and drug addicts.
Under the previous system, drug and alcohol addiction treatment was provided only in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Therapy and Educational Centers (AMATEM) across Turkey. However, these centers failed to meet the need for treatment in the country. With this new initiative, public and private hospitals will step in to treat alcohol and drug addition, paving the way for free treatment for more addicts.
As part of the new initiative by the SGK and the Health Ministry, public, private and university hospitals will provide invoices for each drug therapy, medical examination or tests provided to alcohol or drug addicts. The hospitals will later receive payment from the state for all the invoiced medical treatments.
The Health Ministry has also taken some steps to prevent alcohol and drug addicts from abandoning their addiction treatment. The ministry has made some new changes to its Regulation on Substance Abuse Treatment Centers. According to these changes, AMATEM centers will provide lifelong therapy for alcohol and drug addicts whose treatment has already ended. The patients will be monitored periodically by AMATEM to ensure that they do not fall back into addiction.
The patients will undergo detoxification for a month and will be provided with social rehabilitation and medical treatment for 15 months after detoxification at AMATEM centers. The centers will continue to monitor the patients throughout their lives according to the new changes to the regulation. In addition, with the new changes, the family members of a drug or alcohol addict will also be involved in their treatment. The patients will be informed about their addiction and will be taught how to resist their addiction, while their family members will be informed on how they should behave and treat the recovering addict to facilitate their treatment.
According to a survey conducted in 2010 by the Turkish Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (TUBİM) with the participation of 2,594 people across Turkey, 200,000 alcohol and drug addicts are treated every year in the country. According to the survey, the youngest patient undergoing addiction treatment is 11, while the oldest patient is 65. Of the respondents in the TUBİM survey, 11.67 percent say they started using an addictive substance before the age of 15.Last Mod: 06 Ağustos 2013, 11:12