Investing in Drug Rehab Programs May Help Communities Balance Their Budgets

By Staff Writer

In this climate of intense fears of budget deficits, state and local governments across the country are looking for programs to cut. However, drug rehab treatment experts have warned that eliminating services that provide substance abuse help could be counter-productive when it comes to reaching a balanced budget.

Adam Brickner, a drug rehab specialist in South Carolina, recently wrote at Greenville Online that spending on drug prevention programs should actually be viewed as an investment because it allows communities to spend less in the long run.

He said that taxpayers in Greenville spend more than $500 million each year on law enforcement, healthcare and other expenditures related to addiction and its consequences. The numbers are similar for communities across the country.

However, he wrote on the news website that communities may be able to reduce these costs by spending a little more on preventing addiction in the first place. In addition to helping avoid the devastating consequences of addiction in families, this could also benefit state and local budgets.

Nationally, drug addiction costs the U.S. more than $180 billion each year in crime and healthcare costs, as well as decreased economic productivity, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.