Kentucky recently ranked first in adult access to mental health, but fourth in drug overdose rates across the United States. Becker’s Behavioral Health, a group of experts covering the most pressing issues in Behavioral Health spotlighted Addiction Recovery’s addiction treatment program to understand its “unique approach.”
Becker’s experts connected with ARC’s chief administration officer, Matt Brown, to discuss our strategy to helping people achieve healthy, productive lives.
Here is an excerpt:
Question: What is the state of mental health and addiction needs in Kentucky?
Matt Brown: Usually, we’re last or among the last in many quality or health indicators. We were pretty excited at ARC to see that Kentucky has ranked first in access to mental health care for adults and inside of that measure, there was also a component of access to addiction treatment. In 2014, Kentucky expanded Medicaid and created a comprehensive benefit for all levels of care of substance use disorder treatment. We were the first provider in the state to accept a residential patient with Medicaid for SUD services in January of 2015 and we’ve since treated over 60,000 Kentuckians for substance use disorder since we started in 2008.
We saw a huge spike in overdoses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-COVID, fatal overdoses were actually going down. Kentucky was one of eight states to have a decrease in overdose deaths in 2022 versus 2021. We believe that Kentucky is on the right track. COVID definitely disrupted our progress, but we know what was working – a comprehensive approach to treatment was working – and I’m confident that will continue working now. There’s always this temptation to chase the type of drug that’s most prevalent, but ultimately, addiction is addiction. Ultimately, what drives a person to use or self medicate is often the same, they’re just choosing different drugs. As long as we focus on recovery with a long term approach, Kentucky will continue to see its numbers go down.