HELENA, Mont. -

More than 10,300 alcoholics and drug addicts in Montana will become eligible for substance-abuse treatment coverage next year under the federal health overhaul.
That number will jump to 21,473 if the state Legislature expands Medicaid to cover the working poor.
An Associated Press analysis of U.S. government data shows that is nearly double the 12,000 people now receiving care in the state.
But treatment providers say the increase in eligibility won't mean a sudden rush on treatment facilities.
That's because there is some overlap. Many uninsured addicts are already being treated through programs that use federal block grants and state alcohol taxes.
Plus, they say, any increased demand is likely to be gradual because it takes time to get the word out to the newly eligible beneficiaries.