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12:20 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Obamacare Could Impact Delaware Substance Abuse System

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The national health care reform law is expected to bring new challenges to Delaware's substance abuse treatment system.

Federal officials estimate that some 5,300 addicts in Delaware would be newly eligible for insurance in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. That number grows to about 8,500 if Delaware also expands its Medicaid program, as Gov. Jack Markell has proposed.

Some 64,000 people in Delaware need substance abuse treatment. But federal officials say there are only about 250 beds at treatment facilities, and only about 10,000 people needing treatment are getting it.

State officials say they've been anticipating the need for additional services and are working to provide more access to detox and treatment services.

They also say intensive outpatient treatment can be as effective as inpatient treatment for most people.