A University of South Carolina social work professor is part of a new study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse which examines substance abuse treatment in the state and the effect repealing the Affordable Care Act would have on the state.
Christina Andrews told South Carolina Radio Network the state ranks high in the use of opioids. Right now, there are more prescriptions written for opioids than there are residents in the state,” she said.
She said that increase in use of opioids has led to more problems. “We have seen a significant rise in both in disorders as well as overdoses,” Andrews said. “This year, unfortunately to lose more people to overdose than we have in any year previously.”
She said the research is also looking at the impact that the Affordable Care Act has on the quality and accessibility of substance abuse treatment in South Carolina.
Earlier research Andrews released in March warned ACA repeal oculd worsen the crisis unless a replacement law keeps some of its provisions. She said the law, in particular, requires insurance plans offer addiction treatment as an essential benefit, meaning the law’s repeal could mean insurers drop the coverage for all plans if no longer required.