“Plenty of research has concluded that medication-assisted treatment is the most effective way to help those suffering from substance use disorder to reclaim their lives. Recent research pulled together by The New York Times shows that the benefits go well beyond the person in treatment to save taxpayers money, reduce crime and improve communities.
In Maine, like other states dealing with the deadly addiction crisis, there is often a debate among policymakers over the best approach to the problem. Many, including Gov. Paul LePage, prioritize more funding for law enforcement, hoping a larger police force will stop the flow of drugs. Others, often Democrats, want more state and federal funding for treatment, believing that helping ease people’s addictions will improve their lives.
It turns out, investing in treatment lessens the need for law enforcement. “For every additional dollar spent on treatment, $1.80 in savings would be realized,” the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review concluded in a 2014 report based on data from the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council. “These savings imply that moving just 10 percent of untreated individuals in New England into treatment would generate over $550 million in societal savings for the region.”
The societal savings come from reduced health care costs, reductions in crime and increased productivity when those in treatment return to the workforce.”
Source: BangorDailyNews.com – April 26, 2017
See related article: Opinion: The Access to Treatment Is the Key to Fighting Opioid Addiction available at: http://citizensvoice.com/opinion/the-access-to-treatment-is-the-key-to-fighting-opioid-addiction-1.2185671
See related article from the New York Times: Spend a Dollar on Drug Treatment, and Save More on Crime Reduction available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/24/upshot/spend-a-dollar-on-drug-treatment-and-save-more-on-crime-reduction.html?_r=0