Win Win –  

Dec. 18, 2020 – Even before the COVID-19 pandemic put millions of Americans out of work, lacking the financial means to pay for addiction treatment meant people have long relied on a mixed bag of rehab scholarships, GoFundMe campaigns, and other donation-based services to try and find care. 

There’s even a phone app that offers scholarships and “sponsored beds” for treatment as well as how-to guides that give people instructions on how to crowdsource and find what are known in the industry as rehab “scholarships.” Because the U.S. lacks a universal health care system like other developed countries, only a select group of wealthy people can afford the exorbitant cost of addiction care. Cost partially explains why only about one in ten people in the U.S. who meet diagnostic criteria for addiction ever receive specialty treatment for it.

A spokesperson for Banyan told VICE World News: “We don’t intend this to be any sort of ‘prize,’ rather it’s a gift of a new life that is deserving of all people struggling. We have had an overwhelming response to the post with many people who have already applied. Just to be clear, our scholarship offered by Banyan is a wonderful gift and it is not a ‘lottery’ or a ‘sweepstakes’. It’s a free, 30-day treatment program based on their clinical and medical needs, with room and board covered.”

Cost is far from the only issue with addiction treatment in the U.S. Thanks to decades of stigma and criminalization, the country has a sprawling addiction treatment system that thrives way outside the bounds of traditional medicine and health care. 

more@Vice

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