The State of Connecticut has recently had the budget cut for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services more than 7 million dollars. Surgeon General Murthy has recently declared that we are in an epidemic due to the widespread use of heroin. If we are in an epidemic, why would we want to cut the budget of what will help the people? Every one dollar spent towards recovery saves 4 dollars in Healthcare costs and 7 dollars in Criminal Justice costs. While this is excellent returns on an investment, the main thing is that we will be saving the lives of our citizens.
Our state is in a crisis. The epidemic of heroin use has effected each and every citizen of our state in one way or another. From the crime rate to losing friends and loved ones as a result of the overdoses. Yet, you cut over 7 million dollars to the one avenue that will help save the people who are hit most. Not only would we save lives, but in the long run we would only be saving money. In the enclosed attachment, I have included a presentation that highlights the different avenues that many people have achieved recovery as a result of this funding that you have cut, as well as an overview of how not treating the still sick and suffering addict will continue to hinder us further down the road. 7 million is just a drop in the bucket especially considering that by helping these people we will save in the criminal justice and healthcare field. This can be achieved by restoring programs to the inmates who qualify for them, having healthcare officials available to provide long term treatment for someone who suffers an overdose, and by having Narcan more readily available. I myself, am a recovering addict with 3 years clean. If it wasn't for the treatment programs while I was incarcerated, I may not be here today. We need those options available to the next person struggling so that they too, can get their lives back on the right track. Thank you for your time and consideration.