Washington likely to see increase in addiction treatment

first_imgClick to enlarge SEATTLE — Only about 1 in 10 people who need treatment for substance abuse in Washington state are getting that help, but officials believe that could increase dramatically next January when tens of thousands more become eligible for insurance because of the new federal health care law.Lack of insurance and the cost of private care get a lot of the blame for nearly half a million Washington residents not getting the addiction help they need.The health care overhaul and the expansion of Medicaid it calls for are expected to change that picture for as many as 166,000 people in Washington, according to state and federal health officials.That would nearly triple the number of people seeking treatment in the state, according to an Associated Press analysis of government data. The analysis compared federal data on the addiction rates in the 50 states among the uninsured, the capacity of treatment programs and provisions of the new health law.In Washington state, about 59,000 people are currently receiving treatment, according to the federal government. Another 47,000 people with substance abuse issues would be newly eligible for insurance in 2014. And another 119,000 would become eligible if the state expands Medicaid coverage, as expected.last_img

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