Summary: Addiction is a global pandemic, affecting millions in every nation. It is a kind of mental health disorder that requires treatment. However, data shows that 90% of people do not seek medical attention for their addiction. There are many barriers to seeking medical help, like high costs, inability to travel, and low patient privacy. Quit Genius plans to overcome these barriers and improve addiction treatment by providing telehealth services and investing in clinical research. They have already raised $64 million for their project.
Addiction is a severe problem affecting millions of lives. It is a pandemic in every way and yet remains neglected. No nation is free from the problem, though its severity might vary. It means that there is much still to be done in the sphere of addiction treatment. Addiction treatment urgently needs innovation and investments if we want to tame this pandemic.
Not many People are Seeking Addiction Treatment
US addiction statistics are better viewed as an epidemic within the pandemic. Data suggests that 21 million Americans are addicted to one or another thing. Though many believe these are still conservative estimates, real numbers are greater. However, more worrisome is the fact that most people do not seek addiction treatment. Even in the US, just about 10% receive treatment.
These low addiction treatment rates are especially problematic as substance abuse or drug addiction remains prevalent. This is despite being a readily treatable condition. In addition, the annual death rate due to drug overdose is rising. Another worrisome fact is that addiction mainly affects young adults, resulting in significant economic losses for the nations.
Addiction could be too many things, but a more significant concern remains substance misuse. About 15 million people in the US regularly abuse alcohol, more than 2 million are living with opioid addiction, and a few million are addicted to street drugs.
Doctors these days do not see addiction as merely a bad habit, or social issue, as they thought a few decades back. Extensive research into the subject shows that some individuals are prone to addiction. It is a kind of mental health disorder that must be treated.
There are Multiple Barriers to Seeking Addiction Treatment
However, experts also realize that there is a need to have an innovative approach to addiction treatment to overcome barriers to seeking treatment. Studies show that some of the most significant barriers to seeking addiction treatment are:
- High treatment costs or perceived high treatment costs
- The belief that one can overcome the condition without treatment
- Do not know where to seek medical attention
- Worried that people around will learn about addiction
- Health insurance does not pay for addiction treatment
- It may negatively effect on job
- Disbelief in treatment methods
Quit Genius Intends to Simplify Addiction Treatment
One of the ways out could be putting the new technology at work for addiction treatment. Thus, Quit Genius wants to develop a telehealth solution for addiction treatment. They believe that this would help overcome many barriers to addiction treatment. For example, telehealth can provide better information, help reduce costs, discreetness, and more.
Thus, Quit Genius has already raised $64 million, and they are confident that their approach can significantly impact addiction treatment. They do not just plan to help manage addiction but also focus on investing in addiction research. More significant investment in clinical research would help improve treatment programs.
Founders of Quite Genius believe that telehealth is the way forward as people are now less hesitant to see such a kind of help since they know that there is a person on the other side, too. Thus, now people know that telehealth can provide personalized treatment provide emotional support, and yet seeking such help does not require spending much time.
By Gurpreet Singh Padda, MD, MBA