Drug Rehab Programs Can Help States Lower Overall Spending

By Staff Writer

While many states across the country are considering eliminating drug rehab programs as part of efforts to close gaping budget deficits, some experts are saying that these programs can actually help states spend less money in the long run.

Cynthia Humphrey, a Texas-based drug rehab worker, wrote in the San Antonio Express-News that for every dollar the state spends on dealing with addiction issues, only two cents go to prevention. The state spends 96 cents on criminal justice and healthcare costs.

She said that funneling more money to prevention efforts could help the state drastically cut the amount it spends on jailing convicts and enforcing drug laws. In addition to benefiting the state’s bottom line, it would also result in less crime and a better quality of life for many people who currently struggle with addiction.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the vast majority of individuals who are in federal prison were convicted of non-violent drug offenses. Helping these people seek rehab treatment could keep them out of jail and enable them to live a productive life.