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Proposal could impact drug treatment programs

We have often mentioned how a big problem with the criminal justice system's method for dealing with drug charges is that many people who are facing drug charges have an addiction problem. That means that without proper help, those defendants are likely going to re-offend. A recent proposal about how drug treatment payments are made through the Medicaid reimbursement system could have a significant impact on how many drug addicts are able to get the help they need to overcome the addiction and avoid having to face criminal charges.

As it stands now, the Medicaid payment for methadone treatment is $80 per week. If the proposal becomes the new norm, that amount will be reduced to $42 per week. At the same time, the amount of reimbursement for counseling programs might increase.

Still, the lack of being able to get methadone, even if the availability of counseling is increased, might deter some addicts from trying to kick the addiction. Methadone is a drug that can help people on narcotics or heroin to wean off of the drugs. Methadone helps to curb the withdrawal symptoms so that withdrawal isn't painful.

Another problem is that many drug treatment centers simply don't have the staff to increase the counseling to the level that would be necessary if this proposal is accepted. Even when intensive counseling is available, it can often be a deal breaker for people trying to get off drugs.

Since getting treatment is such a vital component of kicking a drug addiction that leads to criminal charges, it is critical that you explore all the options that are available for treatment. We can help you to learn if there are any options that might help your defense.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Maryland looking to change drug treatment payments," Andrea K. McDaniels, Dec. 27, 2015

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