Drug abuse is more than just an illegal activity, it is an addiction. Lawmakers throughout the country are beginning to shift their view of drug addiction. Instead of a focus on putting those who violate these laws behind bars, a growing number of lawmakers are focusing on rehabilitation efforts.
How are the laws changing?
New York recently passed a law that showcases this shift. Two effects of this law include:
- Increased control over prescriptions
- Eased access to insurance coverage for drug treatment programs
These are just two points of one of the many laws recently passed shifting how laws treat drug abuse in the state.
How can reduced prescriptions make a difference?
It is not uncommon for those who become addicted to opioid pain killers to shift to heroin use. In an effort to reduce the likelihood that patients will become addicted to prescription pain killers in the first place, the new law reduces the amount of the prescription that can be prescribed.
Once the law is enacted, prescriptions will be reduced from a 30 day duration to a 7 day duration.
How does the law change insurance coverage?
The law makes it easier for those who wish to seek treatment for drug addiction to receive immediate care. It also notes that every patient should receive a minimum of two weeks of uninterrupted care at a treatment center before the insurance provider can begin utilization reviews.
What does this mean for me?
It continues to remain important for those facing drug charges in New York to take the charges seriously. Although the tide is shifting to a focus on rehabilitation, the majority of laws that remain in place can lead to incarceration for those who face even minor drug crimes.
Those facing these charges should note that defenses are available. Take the charges seriously, use the law to fight to ensure your rights are protected.