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Substance Abuse National Services – State and Municipal Health Departments

The local governments of each state do provide another source of information and resources for those who are seeking help for a substance abuse problem. Addicts and their families can access substance abuse services, mental health services, all types of counseling, and the proper care for addiction. The state’s department of health and human services will often be the place where someone could access this information. How the information is provided, however, will be different from state to state, but governments do provide access to public treatment services and mental health information, along with listings of programs that may be accredited and private facilities that may operate in the state. The goal of the state and municipal health department is to ensure the residents of the state can access the proper care and support they will need when struggling with addiction or any other mental-health problems. One of the useful resources that people can access is the healthfinder.gov website, which is a link to all the individual state health and human services.

The mission of a state health department is to advance community health through some basic actions such as health surveillance, planning and program development, promotion of local health coverage, setting and enforcement standards, and providing health services. Within these basic, functions will be the services for mental health and addiction. Each state health department does provide numerous different types of services, and there are approximately 2800 different state health department across the United States. For example, a state will have a division of mental health and addiction, within their state health and human services department. Each state health department website and the division of mental health and addiction services will be different within each state. The accessibility and user friendliness of these services will also be different in each state. For example, some state websites for mental health, and addiction may have searchable directories to assist in locating programs for alcohol and drug treatment for adults and adolescents. There will often be a toll-free number to contact, where an addict or a family member can speak to a counselor or someone who can refer them to an addiction's specialist.

The state health and human services department for addiction and mental health are also there to help people who may not be able to afford drug rehabilitation in a private center or even through subsidized programs. Drug and alcohol rehab can be expensive at times, but some of the options for addicts and their families within their state can include state funded addiction treatment programs or locally funded addiction treatment services. There are also substance abuse and mental health services association grants, Medicaid or Medicare, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for veterans, and the Affordable Care Act. Seeking out treatment is important, and it should not be put off because of a financial situation, without exhausting all the different options the state may offer. Most states will provide public assistance options that can offer financial support that an addict may need to start detox or treatment. For example, public assistance may be a government grant for care to state funded drug rehab programs.

Within the state and municipal health department and the private sector the cost of treatment ranges widely, because of a variety of different factors. The cost can depend on whether or not the client is attending an inpatient or outpatient programs, or if the service provider is a government-funded clinic, hospital, or private treatment center. Some state operated facilities may offer duel diagnosis or other specialized forms of treatment, and the level of post rehab recovery services can determine what cost may be involved. The cost for substance abuse treatment services in the United States can range from a few hundred dollars for minimal services, and high-end treatment can cost thousands of dollars. State and municipal health departments are a good place to start when looking for local affordable treatment options. One other useful resource for families with loved ones who are addicts are support lines that may be provided through state and municipal health departments. Many families will not know where to turn when they are struggling with a loved one who is addicted to drugs and alcohol. Families may be able to access family support groups, counseling and help through their local health and human service's division in the state. There may also be toll-free numbers that family members can contact to inquire about treatment options, intervention, or simply just to find out what to do, and how to help their loved one. State and municipal health department can be excellent resources to start with, when looking for or some answers surrounding mental health and drug and alcohol addiction.