The Shockingly Low Costs To Prevent Drug Addiction May Surprise You

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With many communities all across North America declaring drug use an epidemic, especially prescription drug abuse, it was only a matter of time until health officials began to run the numbers so to speak when it comes to how much drug use and abuse is weighing on state and provincial budgets as well as how much money taxpayers are dishing out to combat or treat the issue. We have to keep in mind at times just how much this illness costs, and while it may seem a harsh reality to some, it is important to know the dollar figure when it comes to the various aspects of drug addiction. It costs money for police to crack down, it costs money to imprison drug dealers and addicts resorting to crime, it costs money to take these matters before a court of law and it costs even more money to have individuals sent to a state facility to receive the urgent care they need to break their cycle of addiction. For those well off addicts, sure, the cost to the public isn’t so severe as they can afford private medical care and seek treatment from a fully private treatment facility, but what is it costing the taxpayers to help an addict who can’t afford those types of luxuries? The exact numbers are hard to come by, but what health officials in Tennessee are now learning is that the cost of drug prevention programs could save the state and counties a whole lot of money to be used for other concerns and projects. In fact, officials there believe that the cost of drug prevention initiatives that truly help prevent addiction and abuse cost four times less than when dealing with the issue after it’s actually occurred. In other words the cost to prevent is only a quarter that to treat and deal with later on.

The new report comes from a team of anti-drug advocates in East Tennessee, including Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition Executive Director Sarah Harrison; Stephanie Armbrister Strutner, executive director of Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County; and ASAP project coordinator Stacey Pratt. The team worked with an economist to compile the data comparing the public costs of prevention to what taxpayers foot when people abuse prescription drugs.

While the story tends to stay the same, an unfortunate person falls ill or injures themselves and is prescribed powerful painkillers which snowballs into a full blown addiction, these new research statistics about the cost of this issue should tell us something important. Something that many have been advocating for quite some time. You have no doubt already figured it out, but all these statistics and advancing knowledge is telling us that our efforts should be more and more focused on drug prevention and education to stop as many people as possible from becoming full blown addicts as soon and as efficiently as possible. It won’t save everyone, but the amount of time, effort and money being poured into dealing with those who have already slipped through the cracks and have developed a serious addiction seems outrageous compared to the much cheaper and safer option of stopping the problem at it’s source. Knowledge is power, they say, and it’s time we use it to help save more lives.



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Sobriety Foundation

The Shockingly Low Costs To Prevent Drug Addiction May Surprise You

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