Pubdate: Mon, 28 Feb 2011
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Copyright: 2011 Bert Emmons
Author: Bert Emmons


Regarding "Borrowing trouble" (Feb. 22): As far as I know, Illinois
Gov. Pat Quinn is not turning his back on people with cancer, heart
disease or diabetes. Why is he proposing to eliminate existing
non-Medicaid funding for treatment of addictions to alcohol and other
drugs? Addictions are long-recognized by the established medical
community as organic brain diseases, and they deserve the same respect
and funding as any other medical condition. If addictions are not
treated, they frequently contribute to the development of various
forms of cancer, heart disease and other illnesses, further increasing
pain and suffering and the cost of continuing medical care.

As the Post-Dispatch wisely says, treatment doesn't cost; it pays.
Cutting funds for addiction treatment will not save money; it probably
will shift costs to other sectors of state and local government.

Mr. Quinn and other Illinois policy makers should reconsider their
ill-advised and discriminatory plan to eliminate state funding for
treatment of individuals addicted to alcohol and other drugs.

Bert Emmons


Program Consultant, Sober Living St. Louis
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