October 3, 2022

Lawmakers push to increase access to metal health, addiction services

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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WFSB) – The need for mental health and addiction services have skyrocketed, but getting that help isn’t always and easy and lawmakers are trying to make sure insurance companies do more to help.

Root Center for Advanced Recovery is an addiction treatment center that serves thousands of people in the state.

Senator Chris Murphy made a stop there. He says insurance companies need to do more to help pay for mental health and addiction treatment services.

Client Jessica Gardner said, “I got addicted to pain pills because I was in so much pain and the doctors just gave them to me.”

Gardner’s addiction to painkillers started after she had a surgery done.

Her addiction soon took over every aspect of her life.

“There were days I didn’t eat. I didn’t shower, I had nothing. I lost everything,” said Gardner. “It’s such a psychological disease and it grabs a hold of you, and it takes over.”

After hitting rock bottom, Gardner knew something needed to change.

With the help of the Root Center for Advanced Recovery in New Britain, she’s getting treated with methadone and getting services for her depression.

“You can’t break an addiction on your own. You need help, you often need the assistance of medication and wrap around services and that’s expensive. Somebody’s gotta pay for that,” said Murphy.

Murphy is working on legislation that would require insurance companies to pay for substance use disorder treatments and mental health services.

“Insurance companies too often are a barrier to people getting the treatment they need. we’ve got to do a better job and our legislation does that,” said Murphy.

Gardner is now working to help others recover.

“I want to give back. I want to help, and I think that would make me feel fulfilled and it will keep me in recovery, and everyone here has rooted for me,” said Gardner.

Murphy said he thinks bipartisan agreement can be built around this bill.

The hope is for the legislation to be passed by the end of the year.



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