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updated: 4/16/2014 4:21 PM

Addiction experts: Cuts could hurt drug treatment

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Associated Press

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

Sara Howe, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association, told the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers that the potential budget cuts come at a time when heroin use is increasing in Illinois.

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State Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, has started a task force to look at legislative ways to help treatment systems. He says decreased investment in prevention and treatment has "come back to haunt us."

Alan Sender is chief operating officer for Chestnut Health Systems in Bloomington. He says some providers won't survive the cuts.

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

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