Office of National Drug Control Policy

Early Intervention and Treatment

Early intervention and treatment improves health and saves money. Substance use has devastating effects on individuals, families, and communities, and impacts many Americans.  Less visible, but still significant, is the impact substance use has on the healthcare system.  Medical professionals spend a great deal of their time and resources treating patients with injuries and illnesses resulting from substance use disorders. 

The Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, includes substance use disorders as one of the ten elements of essential health benefits. This is significant because it means that all health insurance sold on Health Insurance Exchanges or provided by Medicaid to certain newly eligible adults starting in 2014 must include services for substance use disorders.

Additional Information