Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 2009
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Times Colonist
Authors: Lucila Nerenberg, MD, Janet Ray, MD, William Bullock, MD, Laura 
Chapman, MD,
Christopher Fraser, MD, D. Layne Woodburn, MD


As addiction general practitioners and psychiatrists, we are concerned
about recent cuts in services for addiction treatment in Victoria.

The current cuts in addiction treatment will result in higher
morbidity and mortality due to a prevalent, treatable illness that
strikes across gender, social class and ethnicity.

Untreated addiction has been shown to increase rates of suicide,
violence, crime, child abuse, work absences and deaths due to accidents.

Unless the underlying addiction is treated, a "revolving door" of
episodic care results, leading to higher rates of in-patient medical
bed use, increased use of ambulance services and both medical and
psychiatric emergency services.

Evidence indicates that for every dollar invested in addiction
treatment, there are cost savings to society of $4 to $7 as a result
of reduced health-care utilization and increased productivity.

It is a false economy to cut addiction services. Short-term savings
will result in long-term suffering and overall increased expense to

Lucila Nerenberg, MD

Janet Ray, MD

William Bullock, MD

Laura Chapman, MD

Christopher Fraser, MD

D. Layne Woodburn, MD 
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