By Staff Writer
Many states across the country are considering pulling back funding for addiction rehab programs as part of efforts to eliminate budget deficits. However, experts say that investing even more in the programs could lead to benefits for addicts as well as state finances.
By limiting the number of individuals who suffer from cocaine addiction or other forms of dependency, states may be able to bring down spending on corrections and law enforcement.
Terri White, the commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, recently wrote in the Oklahoman that this is an investment that states cannot afford to pass up.
She said that decisions by lawmakers in her state to ignore the addiction problem have resulted in more than 250,000 individuals who are dependent on drugs but unable to access treatment. This takes a tremendous social and economic toll on the government and citizens.
Various states from Illinois to Connecticut have proposed to cut or even eliminate funding for rehab programs in recent months, according to media reports.