Kirchhofer works to eliminate addiction treatment barriers

Kirchhofer works to eliminate addiction treatment barriers

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Thursday, February 14, 2019 2:10 pm

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 14, 2019) – The House of Representatives recently advanced State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer’s (R-Beech Grove) legislation that would allow Hoosiers in need of addiction services to be admitted to an inpatient treatment facility, regardless of their sobriety. 

Currently, those who want to be admitted to an inpatient treatment facility for addiction must be sober or in withdrawal, which is the period of time after an addict stops using drugs or alcohol. Kirchhofer said immediately prior to seeking help, many addicts will use drugs or consume alcohol, making them ineligible for inpatient treatment.

“It takes a lot of courage for individuals abusing drugs or alcohol to enter a treatment facility,” said Kirchhofer, chair of the House Public Health Committee. “Oftentimes, a user may be nervous about seeking treatment and will be intoxicated or impaired before asking for help. Denying services to a person wanting to get clean because they just used is a huge disservice, and it discourages many from getting treatment in the future.”

According to Kirchhofer, if an individual is denied inpatient support, they are referred to an outpatient facility. She said without a strong support system, many patients are less likely to be successful in an outpatient program.     

Under Kirchhofer’s legislation, facilities like community mental health centers would follow the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s criteria when considering treatment options, and could admit those currently taking drugs or alcohol. Kirchhofer said facilities that treat Medicaid patients would be reimbursed.  

“Right now, outdated criteria ties the hands of medical professionals working to help patients get and stay sober,” Kirchhofer said. “By ensuring community mental health centers are reimbursed for treating Medicaid patients, those struggling with addiction can receive the treatment that best fits their needs.” 

House Bill 1543 can now be considered by the Senate. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more.   

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State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) represents House District 89,

which includes portions of Marion County.

CAPTION: State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) presents her legislation that would allow Hoosiers in need of addiction services to receive inpatient treatment, regardless of their sobriety Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in the House Chamber. Currently, those who want to be admitted to an inpatient treatment facility for addiction must be sober or in withdrawal, which is the period of time after an addict stops using drugs or alcohol. After a unanimous vote from the House of Representatives, this legislation can be considered by the Senate.