I have CDPHP health insurance. It’s relatively good health insurance. I’m healthy and do not require to use it all that much so it works for me. However, when it comes to addiction services, I’ve listened to many people complain that their CDPHP insurance does not cover addiction rehab “enough.” Having been in the business of helping substance users for 3 decades, I’ve heard tens of thousands of people’s personal struggles with addiction. Many who have CDPHP insurance feel that since addiction is a “chronic relapsing brain disease”, the insurance company should be required to provide coverage for as many rehab stays as is required over a lifetime. In other words – forever full reimbursement for addiction services should be available.

Given their belief in the chronic addiction disease concept, I can understand their logic. However, that concept is the problem here, and is what makes the issue so frustrating for these CDPHP customers. Simply put – addiction is not a disease, and while insurance companies reimburse as if it were a disease, they cut off reimbursement because they too know the disease concept is off the mark. And so, in this way, insurance companies play both sides of the fence; they want your premiums for increased services (remember health insurance companies need diseases, as hedging their financial bets against diseases are what makes the high premiums exist and makes insurance companies money) AND they want to limit their financial exposure at the same time for the sake of profit. What makes all this so muddy for the CDPHP customer is the fact that the “addiction disease” idea is just that, an idea, a metaphorical disease; it’s not the real thing. But most customers don’t see it that way, at least not until they speak with us.

Eliminating Disease through Logic and Facts

Addiction is not a disease. It is a cultural construct – a belief system that is used to describe an individual’s strong preference to get high or drunk habitually. In other words, addiction is a form of religion, and 12 step facilitation, counseling and rehabs are its forms of faith healing. The American Medical Association deemed excessive drinking a disease in 1951 so health insurance and public funding could “solve the issue” of heavy drinking and drug taking while also making money in the process. But if the basis for the decision to make these habits into a disease is based on myths and misinformation, then everything downstream of that initial decision becomes lost in that misinformation and confusion. This is exactly why we receive calls from individuals lost in the treatment/relapse/disease/recovery mythology. So what’s the answer?

First, know that you can change a preference for a drug or drink. Know the disease concept is bunk. Know there is more than seven decades making the clear the case against there being any disease of addiction present. Know that you can choose to change and that you contain the power of free will and autonomy. Know that rehab is an extension of the lies you’ve been told. Know that you can medically detox from your drug of choice and not be diseased at the same time. (These are two very different things – being toxic and being diseased; think being bitten by a rattlesnake versus having cancer.) Know that all the answers to move past addiction and recovery are contained in The Freedom Model for Addictions text. And finally, know that once you have read the book, and you internalize the fact that loss of control is a myth and that you can indeed change based on your power of choice, you will never need to deal with an insurance company in regards to your substance use again, and that my friends, is true freedom.