Pubdate: Wed, 16 Apr 2008
Source: News-Press (Fort Myers, FL)
Copyright: 2008 The News-Press
Author: Rosemary Boisvert


There is a high probability that about $38.8 million in substance 
abuse treatment may be cut from the troubled Florida budget. I 
implore our Legislature to take a strong stand against any cuts in 
substance abuse treatment funds. They are already woefully 
under-funded. Statistics and studies have shown in a multitude of 
studies that treating the disease is far more cost effective than to 
send someone to prison for non-violent alcohol- and drug-related crimes.

Studies show that about 60 percent of domestic violence, robberies, 
burglaries, aggravated assaults and other incidents in Florida were 
alcohol or other drug related, and 60 percent of all persons arrested 
in Florida were either under the influence of or committed their 
crime to gain access to alcohol or drugs.

But what really stands out is the fact that it costs $9,000 to treat 
a probationer in community substance abuse treatment versus $57,890 
for the same offender in prison.

In these very tough times for Florida I respectfully request that the 
public demand that our Legislature and all of the others involved in 
making these decisions use what funds we do have wisely and get the 
biggest bang for our bucks!


Cape Coral
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