KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Recovery Programs Are Expensive And Hard To Find For Addicted Teens

Families often struggle to get help for children with addiction problems. Also, a new study finds that young adults are making strong use of hospital care for mental health issues.

U.S. News And World Report: Teens With Addiction Have Few Recovery Programs
Within the last five years, drug overdoses have become one of the top three killers of 15 to 19 year olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ?Even so, the resources for addiction treatment are hard to locate, expensive and rarely meet patients' needs. Most children's hospitals do not have psychiatry departments, let alone offer substance abuse treatment. And at the same time, addiction services are stifled by stigma within the medical industry and at the public policy level. ... most facilities that treat addiction are cost-prohibitive for families. ?Insurance plans vary on how long they will approve treatment for addiction, how much they will pay and whether repeat treatments will be reimbursed (Leonard, 6/10).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Study: Health Law Boosts Hospital Psych Care For Young Adults
Expanded coverage for young adults under the Affordable Care Act substantially raised inpatient hospital visits related to mental health, finds a new study by researchers at Indiana and Purdue universities. That looks like good news: Better access to care for a population with higher-than-average levels of mental illness that too often endangers them and people nearby. But it might not be the best result (Hancock, 6/11). 

Meanwhile, ProPublica examines the issue of mental health and the recent spate of mass shootings -

ProPublica: Myth Vs. Fact: Violence And Mental Health
After mass shootings, like the ones these past weeks in Las Vegas, Seattle and Santa Barbara, the national conversation often focuses on mental illness. So what do we actually know about the connections between mental illness, mass shootings and gun violence overall? To separate the facts from the media hype, we talked to Dr. Jeffrey Swanson, a professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine, and one of the leading researchers on mental health and violence. Swanson talked about the dangers of passing laws in the wake of tragedy ? and which new violence-prevention strategies might actually work (Beckett, 6/10).

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