Budget cuts could reduce alcohol abuse treatment services


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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Behavioral health providers in Alaska are concerned about the impact of a potential $7 million reduction in grants to services such as mental health counseling and alcohol and drug abuse treatment.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/1ZGa3eM ) that the total grant budget for the state would be less than $60 million under the cuts, which are included in Gov. Bill Walker's proposed state operating budget.

The director of Fairbanks Native Association, which provides alcohol and drug abuse treatment, says there will be even longer wait times for the 150 people currently in line to get treatment if the cuts are implemented.

Interim director of the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health, Randall Burns, says providers can make up for the lost grant money by transitioning into expanded Medicaid dollars.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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