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WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 16, 2013, 12:11 PM

Influx of addiction patients could stress Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's network of substance abuse treatment centers could be severely tested by the national health care overhaul.

By: KYLE POTTER,Associated Press, Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's network of substance abuse treatment centers could be severely tested by the national health care overhaul.

More than 54,000 uninsured Minnesotans with serious drug and alcohol problems will suddenly become eligible for insurance that covers addiction treatment. The state has fewer than 4,000 beds dedicated to substance abuse treatment, and they're usually full on any given day.

Dustin Chapman, a behavioral liaison at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, said the state's bed count isn't a perfect measure of preparedness. He said not all of the 54,000 newly insured would seek treatment at once.

But Chapman and others say they are more concerned about a persistent shortage of counselors for patients.

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