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Md. official says state prepared to help addicts

Tuesday - 4/16/2013, 3:36pm  ET

Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland's health secretary says the state is in a strong position to help thousands of drug addicts who will be eligible for health insurance next year.

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein says Maryland has been investing more than $100 million a year in state money in recent years to boost substance abuse treatment, on top of Medicaid support.

Sharfstein says he's confident Maryland is poised to handle the rising numbers of insured drug addicts and get them into treatment, and won't be swamped by the increase.

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates more than 41,000 drug and alcohol addicts in Maryland will become eligible for insurance in January when the health care overhaul goes into effect.

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