Sobering Facts about the Repeal of Obamacare

by Steve Beller on January 30, 2017

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has been one of the most contentious pieces of legislation in decades. While more than 20 million Americans are covered by the ACA, many have vocalized concerns over the cost and effectiveness of the legislation. With the outcome of November’s election, Congress and President Trump are working to repeal the ACA. As a result, people with addiction and mental health disorders, as well as their families and treatment providers, are wondering how patients will maintain their sobriety if the ACA is repealed.

In a recent article in the USA Today, the American Psychiatric Association was quoted as saying, “the people helped the most by the ACA are the ones most likely to suffer from poor mental health and addiction. Nearly 30% of those who got coverage through Medicaid expansion have a mental disorder, such as anxiety or schizophrenia, or an addiction to substances, such as opioids or alcohol, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).”

In terms of real numbers, The Hill recently published excerpts from a report by two researchers from New York University and Harvard Medical School. The report read, “roughly 2.8 million Americans have a substance use disorder, 222,000 of whom are battling an opioid disorder and would lose some or all of their coverage if the ACA is repealed. To put this in dollar terms, repealing the mental and substance use disorder coverage provisions of the ACA would withdraw at least $5.5 billion annually from the treatment of low income people with mental and substance use disorders.”

In his campaign, President Trump promised to take control of the heroin and opioid epidemic in the U.S. However, some experts are concerned whether this can be accomplished if Obamacare is repealed.

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DUI Rates in the U.S. Hit New Low

by Nicole Jupe on January 27, 2017

Dating back decades, our society has brought awareness to the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and encouraged people to seek safe, sober transportation options. Research shows that alcohol as well as marijuana and other illicit substances weakens reaction times, motor skills, and perception and may lead to reckless driving and accidents. Here is 2014 data about impaired driving from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • Nearly 28 million Americans drove under the influence of alcohol
  • Males are more likely than females to drive under the influence
  • More than 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • One-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States involved alcohol
  • Nearly 6 million Americans drove under the influence of both alcohol and illicit drugs

Fortunately, recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data has highlighted some good news, reporting that the percentage of people driving under the influence of alcohol fell to a 13-year low in the United States. Eleven (11.1) percent of NSDUH survey respondents ages 16 and older indicated that they drove under the influence of alcohol. In 2002, that number was much higher at 15.3 percent. Drunk driving by our youngest drivers (ages 16 to 20) declined by half from 17.4 percent in 2002 to 7.4 percent in 2014.

Prevention efforts such as sobriety checkpoints, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) laws, ignition interlock systems for offenders, and ride sharing with services like Uber continue to help to reduce drunk driving. Yet experts are cautiously optimistic about the downward trend and remain committed to their mission of safety and public education.

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Drugged Drivers Pose a Serious Threat

June 20, 2016 News

According to a recent poll conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA), motorists now view drivers, who are under the influence of illicit drugs, as bigger threats to their safety than those driving under the influence of alcohol. Data from the survey revealed the following insights: 74 percent of motorists think people driving after using […]

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Alcohol Awareness Month

April 8, 2016 Alcohol

According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), minors use alcohol more frequently than they use all illicit drugs combined. The study revealed that 8.7 million people between the ages of 12 and 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Of those adolescents, 5.3 million were considered binge drinkers and […]

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Startling Statistics Regarding Drunk Driving

December 10, 2015 Alcohol

A report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that 4.2 million adults age 18 and older admit to driving while impaired within the past 30 days, resulting in 121 million episodes of impaired driving each month. This is especially concerning in that impaired driving causes one-third of crash fatalities each year […]

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Curbing Drunk Driving

August 31, 2015 Alcohol

According to a recent study completed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.2 million people – or 2 percent of the U.S. population – operated a motor vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past month. Analyzing data from a 2012 government survey that asked […]

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Employee Drug and Alcohol Testing Handbook

July 1, 2015 Illicit drugs

When will I be tested for drugs at my place of employment? What types of substances will I be tested for? Will my prescriptions interfere with my drug test results? Answers to these and other common drug testing questions can be found in the newly updated Employee Handbook from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). […]

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April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April 2, 2015 Alcohol

For nearly three decades, Alcohol Awareness Month has been observed in April. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) created this campaign “to increase public awareness and understanding aimed at reducing the stigma associated with alcoholism that too often prevents individuals and families from seeking help.” To kick things off, the NCADD encourages […]

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National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

December 18, 2014 News

The holiday season is a special time for family and friends to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. While many of these celebrations involve the consumption of alcohol, it is imperative for people to think twice before getting behind the wheel. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows […]

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EtG Alcohol Testing

March 14, 2014 Alcohol

Quest Diagnostics is pleased to announce that we now offer an EtG (Ethyl Glucuronide) screening panel. The immunoassay screening test used for EtG, in this new panel, is not currently FDA 510(K) cleared, and results are intended exclusively for criminal justice, child welfare and other court-related testing. The panel uses a urine sample to screen […]

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