As the Michigan legislature tries to hammer out final budget agreements, there is ongoing concern that there will be PA2 fund cuts to the Substance Abuse Coordinating Agencies (SACA). The SACAs have not had a funding increase in 17 years and the proposed cuts may amount to as much as 20%.
Here’s what I might write:
As you consider additional cuts to the state budget, please do not cut the PA2 funds currently allocated to the Regional Substance Abuse Coordinating Agencies. Cuts in addiction treatment and drug prevention will actually lead to increased costs to the state. Medicaid healthcare costs will increase. Emergency departments will be flooded. Jails and prisons costs will rise. These cuts would not be fiscally responsible.
More than 600 scientific papers have concluded that treatment for drug addiction works. Relapse rates for addiction treatment are lower than treatment for asthma and hypertension, and equivalent to relapse rates in type 2 diabetes. Patient compliance rates for addiction treatment are better than patient compliance rates in the treatment of asthma and hypertension. Treatment is also cost effective. Studies by the RAND Corporation and UCLA have both found that every $1 spent on addiction treatment saves $7 in other costs like medical, human service and criminal justice system costs.
Unfortunately, treatment remains out of reach for most people. More than 1.2 million Americans wanted treatment but did not receive it; nearly 38% tried to enter treatment but were unable due to costs.
Please do not cut PA2 funding to the Regional Substance Abuse Coordinating Agencies. Lives and families depend on access to addiction treatment.
One tip. If you plan to email your legislators and you work for a treatment program, you may not want to use your work email account.