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Addiction experts: Cuts could hurt drug treatment

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 1:17 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — Addiction experts say thousands of Illinois residents could lose drug treatment services if a temporary tax increase expires later next year.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports the Illinois Department of Public Health's drug treatment programs could lose $20 million in funding if the income tax falls from 5 percent to 3.75 percent.

IDPH officials estimate that would cut services for almost 16,000 people.

Sara Howe is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association.

She says the potential budget cuts come at a time when heroin use is increasing in Illinois.

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to make the tax increase permanent before it expires on Jan. 1.

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