Next, we need to create an American Addiction Society—analogous to the American Cancer Society (ACS)—devoted to education and fund raising, in order to supplement and support the government's efforts and to lobby for new initiatives. The ACS and other private organizations fund almost half of cancer research. An American Addiction Society could eventually achieve as much.

And then there is the matter of insurance coverage. We can't imagine an insurance company paying for a week or month of treatment for a cancer patient, but then withholding any further coverage. As part of an effective war on addiction, insurance companies must be required to cover comprehensive addiction treatments, which are the most effective we have. Paying for the best treatment money can buy is expensive, but not doing so is more expensive. RAND Corporation's drug-policy center found that for every dollar spent on treatment for addiction, taxpayers save more than seven in other services, largely through reduced crime and medical fees and increased productivity. A visit to the emergency room, for instance, costs as much as a month in rehab.
Excerpted from Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Meth Addiction by David Sheff, Copyright © 2007 by David Sheff. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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