Pubdate: Wed, 8 Oct 2008
Source: State Journal-Register (IL)
Copyright: 2008 The State Journal-Register
Author: Keith A. Kuhn


Now that the Illinois House and Senate have voted for money to restore
the $55 million cut from state alcohol and drug treatment budget, Gov.
Rod Blagojevich must promptly sign both bills into law.

The Illinois General Assembly recognizes the dire condition of the
state's substance abuse prevention and treatment system. There are
42,140 people across the state being denied care. How is that acceptable?

The governor must understand that right now, in Springfield, hundreds
of people have been unable to access treatment services and/or kicked
out of the treatment because programs have closed. Dozens of employees
have lost their jobs in Springfield alone. Has anybody paid attention
to the police beat recently? Did you notice the increase in
drug-related crime happening in Springfield? It's not surprising.

Please support our effort to keep the streets and schools safe and
have a positive effect on the increasing drug problem in Sangamon County.

Without restoration of funding, the $55 million state cut will also
result in a loss of $55 million in federal matching funds, reducing
the annual treatment budget from $253 million to $110 million.

Illinois hospital emergency rooms and local jails are already being
exposed to the financial and human fallout of untreated addiction.
It's a slow-motion calamity.

To halt an emerging public health-care crisis, we need Gov.
Blagojevich to demonstrate his leadership and immediately sign Senate
Bills 790 and 1103. More than 42,000 people need help now.

Keith A. Kuhn

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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake