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(The Center Square) – Connecticut has been approved to receive federal funding for new substance abuse treatments, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced the state will receive $30 million in annual Medicaid funding that will benefit residents who are struggling with substance abuse to provide them heightened treatment. Funding will also cover residential care services while increasing provider payment rates.

“Through this initiative, we estimate a boost of nearly $30 million in annual Medicaid funding to help our efforts in combatting substance use disorders, overdose fatalities from opioid misuse, overuse of hospital emergency departments, and in addressing related treatment needs,” Lamont said in the release. “Our goal is to strengthen the treatment system for the entire state and make sure we are doing everything possible to prevent further tragedies that have impacted so many of our families and communities.”

According to the release, the state’s plan was approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services via a “Section 1115 demonstration waiver.” The waiver is an important step that allows for matching funds in treatment areas that are not usually covered by Medicaid.

The waiver, according to the release, will allow for treatments for substance abuse disorders for alcohol, marijuana, illicit drugs, and prescribed medications.

The funding was pursued by the Lamont administration along with the Department of Social Service, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Department of Children and Families.

“The opioid epidemic has destroyed lives prior to the pandemic and since then rates of substance misuse and overdoses have only risen,” the members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation said in a joint statement. “This new Medicaid funding will be critical to treating substance use disorders in the state and saving lives. We will continue to work in Congress to do everything we can to address this crisis.”

The funding will allow the state to provide expanded coverage and also to reinvest in the treatment systems to aid people who are struggling with substance abuse. The program will provide “critical, high-quality treatment, which would include medications for treatment, improving health outcomes, reducing overdose deaths, and improve transitions between level of care.”

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.