Proposed Senate bill could increase opioid crisis

LUFKIN, TX (AP) - The current version of the Senate Republicans' healthcare bill is expected to cut funding for Medicaid, including money that goes towards substance abuse and mental health treatments.

Obamacare currently requires the federal government to match Medicaid in terms of substance abuse funding. With the new proposed bill, some believe this will further inflame the opioid crisis.

Chris Logan with the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Deep East Texas said that this could cause problems.

"If the federal government cuts their funding in treatment, then it will definitely have a trickle-down effect," Watson said. "If we have any additional cuts, then we would not be able to provide the services that we currently have."

According to one of ADACs detox counselors, Dana Watson, the opioid crisis drastically affects all areas of the country, including East Texas.

"We have about a hundred and forty people die a day of opioid addiction," Watson said. "That's tremendous. It's very important to get treatment. It's very important for people to be aware of what's going on."

For those that require detox, ADAC partners with Burke to run a detox program out of the Mental Health Emergency Center.

The Senate will reveal their newest version of their healthcare bill tomorrow.

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