Policy Makers Tools in Development
Policymaker Tools in Development
Policymaker Tools In Development Content
Guide for states
CASAColumbia is developing a guide for state policymakers that identifies:
- Costs to states of failure to prevent risky substance use and effectively treat and manage addiction
- Systems of state services where the costs are the highest
- Effective strategies for improving health and reducing costs in each area
- General tax, regulatory and enforcement policies that also can be used to prevent risky use and ensure treatment and management of addiction
The guide will be available on CASAColumbia’s website and disseminated to state policymakers. It will help frame state substance-related policies and programs in accordance with the latest scientific evidence regarding addiction and risky substance use.
Menthol white paper
CASAColumbia is developing a white paper on the science of addiction involving nicotine and the role of menthol as it relates to increasing the risk of addiction. It will examine the prevalence and consequences of menthol products, the economic value to the tobacco industry and the potential health and economic effects of a ban on menthol. Menthol makes smoking more palatable, and tobacco products with menthol are preferred by young smokers, female smokers and black smokers. There is reason to believe that menthol products hook smokers at a younger age and increase the risk of addiction involving nicotine, as well as other substances. Despite calls from a scientific task force and others for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban menthol cigarettes, there has been little movement in this direction.
Changing Insurance Practice
One of the barriers to addiction prevention and treatment services is the current lack of reimbursement from health insurance providers. Insurance providers—public and private—should provide coverage for the insured. This should include patient education, screening and intervention for risky substance use and treatment and management of addiction consistent with standards of medical practice, eliminating exemptions. CASAColumbia will document the benefits (financial viability, return on investment, improved patient outcomes) of providing full coverage of evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment and develop a strategy to encourage the insurance industry to cover these critical services for addiction and risky use prevention and treatment.