Drug Rehab Programs May Get Lost in State Budget Battles

By Staff Writer

Drug rehab programs are proven to help substance abusers overcome their addictions. However, in the current fiscal climate, many federal and state agencies are cutting their budgets and offering fewer services, which could make it more difficult for addicts to find the help they need.

For example, Illinois governor Pat Quinn recently proposed a budget that would eliminate funding for all state-run addiction treatment programs, according to the Huffington Post. If the proposal becomes law, only federal Medicaid money would go to local drug rehab programs.

One director of an addiction treatment facility told the news source that 80 percent of his location’s patients would be forced out of therapy. This would be the equivalent of putting 55,000 addicts back out on the street, where they could begin to seek drugs again.

Similar efforts to cut the budget of a program that enables individuals to seek substance abuse help are underway in Washington state, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports. State lawmakers are currently weighing a decision to eliminate a $370 million program that connects low-income residents who don’t qualify for federal programs to drug rehab and mental health services.