Critical Addiction Treatment Legislation Signed in California

Share Article

Recently signed Assembly Bill 848 protects the physical and mental health of people seeking alcohol and drug rehabilitation services in residential treatment facilities. It allows physicians and other appropriate medical personnel to provide on-site medical services at licensed prorgrams; the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) was a co-sponsor of the bill.

The Voice for Treatment

"Patients will now have a better chance for successful recovery," said Dr. Christy Waters, Chair of the California Society of Addiction Medicine’s (CSAM) Public Policy Committee

California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 848 by Assemblymember Mark Stone - which will finally allow physicians and other licensed medical professionals to provide essential medical care to clients who are undergoing detoxification in residential treatment facilities.

“Patients will now have a better chance for successful recovery,” said Dr. Christy Waters, Chair of the California Society of Addiction Medicine’s (CSAM) Public Policy Committee. “Until now, an obsolete provision in state law prevented the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) from licensing residential treatment programs – that provide detoxification for addiction to Alcohol and other Drugs – from providing medical services to patients,’” she explained.

"This legal prohibition made no sense from a medical or public-cost perspective, so for the past 10 years, CSAM has been working to change it," said Waters. With the passage of this legislation, sponsored by CSAM, DHCS licensed facilities – that so choose – are now able to provide the most scientifically sound care to those who suffer from addiction. This change will make a critical difference to patients struggling with addiction and to the communities where they live. Their treatment can now be managed inside the program. Whereas transportation to a doctor’s office, clinic, or urgent care used to take additional staff time and resources and required vulnerable patients to leave the safety of a treatment environment.

Under the bill, patients will get a medical screening prior to treatment, often needed prescriptions for safe detoxification, and medical oversight for the other conditions that often accompany addiction such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Treatment can now be easily managed within the confines of the residential facility and the safety of a consistent treatment environment.

For more information, contact the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) at: csam(at)csam-asam(dot)org or CSAM is a state chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). CSAM is sponsoring the Addiction Medicine State of the Art Conference, October 21-24, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency, San Francisco Airport.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kerry Parker, CAE, Executive Director
since: 10/2013
Follow >
Visit website