Cutbacks lead to fewer drug and alcohol addicts getting help

FORT WORTH — Fewer Texans with drug and alcohol addictions will be getting publicly financed help because of a $7 million decrease in funding to treatment centers, providers say.

In Tarrant County, Mental Health Mental Retardation may have to reduce admissions into its residential treatment program and end services it offers at the Tarrant County Jail, said Stevie Hansen, MHMR chief of addiction services.

The agency will also likely run out of money for outpatient treatment services by May or June, she said.

"It really hurts because people will have to wait longer to get into treatment, and they are already waiting," Hansen said.

The reduction in funding contracts, which were announced last week, is due to a rollback in reimbursements. In 2008, the state boosted the rate it pays agencies for treating patients by 7 percent, the first increase since 2001, said Chris Van Deusen, spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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