Anyone keeping up with American news knows that more people than ever have been adversely affected by our economic woes, losing jobs, homes, transportation and eventually their sobriety. Our courts and jails are filling rapidly with poverty/drug/alcohol related crimes and the burden to the taxpayer will be enormous!
Now our new Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislators are threatening to cut the only frontline defense we have against this onslaught; the agencies that provide education, prevention and treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues.
Many of these non-profit agencies are already struggling under former budget cuts, shortening programs, laying off badly needed staff or closing altogether! The Florida taxpayers cannot afford this! It is a proven fact that for every dollar spent on treatment, we save SEVEN on arrests, court costs, incarceration and foster care. No other business can boast such numbers. Already, Federal statistics state that one of every ten of us will be involved in an accident with a person under the influence of legal, illegal drugs or alcohol!!!
This is a call to arms for all agencies providing these desperately needed services and their supporters to unite as one voice and say "NO!" to further cuts in this area. For proof on how bad the impact will be, go here http://www.drugabusestatistics.samhsa.gov/
. If funds must be cut, they should be cut from programs that have not shown the return on investment that substance abuse and mental health programs have shown for many years!
Don't allow this to happen. Write to Governor Scott and your Florida Legislator and let them know that cutting substance abuse and mental health treatment spending is a penny wise and pound foolish approach to effective government!