CHICAGO (April 16, 2013)--Alcoholics and drug addicts who currently lack insurance to help pay for treatment could overwhelm addiction services in less than a year when 3 million to 5 million people with addiction problems suddenly will become eligible for insurance coverage under the new health care overhaul.
An Associated Press analysis found that the number of people seeking treatment could double over current levels.
The new demand could swamp the system, causing waiting lists of months or longer.
In more than two-thirds of the states, treatment clinics are already at or approaching 100 percent capacity.
Addiction treatment may represent an extreme example of one of the Affordable Care Act's challenges: delivering the care that people are supposed to receive.