Pubdate: Tue, 20 Jun 2000
Date: 06/20/2000
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Author: Joseph D. Shaffer

Substance-abuse treatment reduces costs from crime and health care.
Successful treatment also benefits society through increased wages for
recovering individuals.

A recent report by the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
found that savings to society are much more than what it invests in
treatment. The study found that the average saving per client in the
year after treatment was more than three times the average cost of one
treatment episode.

It is clear that treatment not only restores health to individuals but
also saves taxpayers money and returns dividends to the community.

These findings coincide with decisions made by the Illinois
Legislature and Gov. George Ryan to increase funding for substance
abuse treatment in Illinois. On May 17, Ryan signed a human services
budget that includes a 12 percent increase in funding for addiction

As a provider of substance-abuse services to counties in the 20th
Judicial Circuit in Illinois, we recognize the impact this increase
will have on the lives of people in the cities and towns we serve. We
applaud the Legislature and Ryan for their commitment to the support
of people in need of addiction treatment.

Joseph D. Shaffer, Deputy Area Administrator, Treatment Alternatives
for Safe Communities Inc. Belleville