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(p. 119) The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Emerging Adults 

(p. 119) The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Emerging Adults
Chapter:
(p. 119) The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Emerging Adults
Author(s):

Christina M. Andrews

, Clifford Bersamira

, and Melissa Westlake

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190490782.003.0006
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date: 18 October 2018

Emerging adults have the highest prevalence of substance use disorders (SUD) of any age group, and only a fraction of those emerging adults in need of SUD treatment ever receive it. However, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has dramatically increased the number of emerging adults with health insurance coverage for SUD in the United States. In this chapter, we examine how several provisions of the ACA, including Medicaid expansion, the dependent coverage mandate, and the establishment of healthcare marketplaces, have increased emerging adults’ access to quality SUD treatment. On the whole, the ACA has significantly increased access to SUD treatment among emerging adults. However, addressing existing barriers to effective implementation, including issues related to the capacity of our current SUD treatment system, socioeconomic barriers, public outreach and awareness, and variation in treatment access and quality, will prove vital in securing long-term success of the ACA.

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