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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Health Care Changes Could Stress Substance Abuse Treatment

Vermont's substance abuse treatment programs could see new stress due to a greater number of people having health insurance and seeking treatment after key parts of the federal health overhaul take effect.

That's the word from Vermont experts in the fields of mental health and substance abuse whose agencies are preparing for the launch of the new exchange, which is expected to broaden access to health insurance by the end of the year.

But experts say Vermont has two factors going for it that many other states lack: a high percentage of residents who are insured already, and a strong mental health parity law requiring insurers to cover mental health and substance abuse services.