Health Care Reform Series

The country’s health care reform law, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), stands to have a huge impact on addiction treatment in New Jersey. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey has issued a series of printed brochures and complementary web-based materials and resources describing how health care reform will make  addiction treatment available to a greater number of citizens of the state, describing what that care will be and how it will change the addiction landscape. The four documents of health care reform series cover the following subjects:  1) addiction as a chronic disease; 2) supports and services to sustain recovery from addiction; 3) the basic components of health care reform; and 4) the specifics of health reform as it pertains to addiction treatment. 


The first health care reform brochure details addiction’s chronic nature and what is known as the Recovery Zone, which calls for a reallocation of resources in keeping with the treatment of a chronic disorder. This shift represents a fundamental change away from an acute response to addiction toward an environment that relies on ongoing management of the disease, which in turn improves the likelihood of sustained recovery. Addiction is compared with other chronic illness, such as diabetes and heart disease. As with those chronic diseases, lifestyle choices play a large role in treating addiction and maintaining recovery. (Click here to read more on addiction as a chronic disease...)

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In the second health care reform brochure, the supports and services that are crucial to sustained recovery from addiction are outlined. The need for supports and services vary from one individual to the next, which is reflected in the case management each person should receive. Recovery case management includes assessing the individual to determine their needs and then developing a person-centered plan. Supports and services include but are not limited to housing, employment and job training. This health care reform brochure also stresses eliminating obstacles to treatment, noting that only one in four who need alcohol or drug treatment receive it. (Click here to read more on recovery supports and services...)

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The third health care reform brochure considers some of the basic elements of the PPACA and its overarching goal of promoting a holistic model of care. This document describes components of the PPACA including integrating behavioral health with primary care, accountable care organizations and health insurance exchanges, which will help guide consumers choosing a health plan. This health care reform brochure provides a timeline listing when the different components of health care reform go into effect. (Click here to read more on the basic components of the PPACA...)

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The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey has released the fourth brochure in its series of printed and web-based information on health care reform and its impact on addiction treatment. The new document, titled “The Future of Addiction Care in New Jersey,” discusses how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will allow more people to access care for addiction and how the reform will move addiction treatment into the realm of primary medicine. (Click here to learn more about the Future of Addiction Care in New Jersey.)

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This brochure discusses a defining time for health reform in the United States: enrollment in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). New Jersey had as many as 900,000 uninsured citizens who can now have access to care, many having a drug or alcohol problem for which the ACA plans provide coverage. There are two paths to enrollment within the ACA. Depending on income, new enrollees will either enter a health plan through the Health Care Marketplace or NJ FamilyCare (formerly Medicaid). Enrollment can be done on the website (, by phone (800-318-2596) or in person. The new eligibles are primarily childless adults.


Outside Resources Addressing Health Care Reform:

NJ for Health Care


This website is made possible, in part, by a grant from the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
“NCADD of NJ, 360 Corporate Blvd, Robbinsville, NJ 08691, 609-689-0599