Nev. Addiction Services Could be Stretched by Reform

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada's already-stretched addiction services are facing even more strain as tens of thousands of people become newly eligible for treatment under the health care overhaul.

Federal statistics show 16,000 Nevadans are currently receiving substance abuse treatment. But more than 73,000 are expected to be newly eligible for insurance in 2014 once the law takes effect and if Nevada also expands Medicaid, as planned.

Similar statistics from around the country point to a health care system that may be ill-equipped to handle all the addicts seeking the treatment they'll be newly entitled to.

Data show 205,000 people, or 10.5 percent of Nevadans, need treatment for substance abuse.

A 2011 federal survey counted 739 beds at treatment facilities in the state, and pegged the occupancy rate for those beds at 99 percent.

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