Substance Abuse Treatment: HSA Eligibility

Substance Abuse Treatment: eligible with a Health Savings Account (HSA)
Substance abuse treatment is eligible for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Substance abuse treatment is not eligible with a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA), or a limited-purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA).

What is substance abuse treatment?

Substance abuse treatment and counseling for a chemical dependency can take on a variety of forms to suit the nature and severity of an individual's addiction. This can include treatment in an outpatient, residential or inpatient program, while others may be able to beat their addictions with individual, family or group counseling sessions. No one treatment plan will be the same for each person, but there are a series of important elements that remain consistent throughout this field (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Today's substance abuse treatment and counseling will usually include the following features.

  • Detoxification: This is the pivotal first step in drug addiction treatment that gives the individual the opportunity to stop taking the drug in a safe environment as quickly as possible so he/she can begin the next stage of treatment. This is also referred to as "detox" or "withdrawal therapy," which can be conducted in an outpatient facility or in a residential treatment center or hospital. Ultimately, these treatment strategies are largely based on the drug the patient takes and how long the withdrawal period will last. For instance, those who are addicted to harder drugs like opioids may require gradual reduction of the drug or drug replacement with substances like naxolone, methadone or buprenorphine (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
  • Counseling: Individual counseling with rehabilitation specialists, group therapy with individuals going through the same struggle and collective counseling with family members is where addicts begin to analyze the source of their addictions and develop strategies moving forward to prevent relapses. Counseling sessions will aim to identify the psychological and social triggers (moods, thoughts and situations) that addicts will need to avoid to prevent a relapse, as well as the people and behaviors in a patient's life that can lead them down the road to drug use. Drug counseling combines many aspects of psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy with the overarching goal to help the patient recognize the depth of their addiction and gradually develop a lifestyle that is free from substance abuse (WebMD).
  • Self-Help Groups: In the months and years following detoxification and direct counseling, programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and others offer a degree of self-help for those who are always in the midst of recovery from long-term drug abuse. The danger of relapse is always ever-present for those who have suffered from chemical addiction, and these support groups have the ability to combine like-minded people who are experiencing the same struggles to provide a degree of community that can prevent the sort of social isolation that could cause some addicts to relapse. At the conclusion of most drug addiction treatment and counseling programs, counselors will direct patients to self-help groups in their area to allow them to continue their rehabilitation process for as long as they feel necessary to steer clear of their addictions (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

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