Investing in Treatment: Policymakers' Positive Impact on Their Community
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
A California study has shown that treatment has a benefit-to-cost ratio of 7:1, meaning that the cost to taxpaying citizens of treating approximately 150,000 people is $209 million, while the benefits from that treatment are worth about $1.5 billion in taxpayer savings. As leaders who can influence and shape policy, civic and elected officials play a crucial role in reducing the toll addiction takes on their communities. Implementing policies that effectively treat substance abuse and dependence leads to increased productivity and profitability in the workplace, as well as decreased costs throughout the criminal justice system and social services system. Therefore, policy implementation lessens the financial burden on taxpayers. This program will look at the role of civic and elected officials in fighting substance abuse and dependence, as well as steps they can take to improve their communities' well-being.
Ivette Torres, Associate Director for Consumer Affairs, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).