Georgia's Addictive Services Need Our Help!

March 11, 2009

Here is the latest news from NAMI about budget cuts for addiction services. It is easy to blame the person for their addiction, but the fact is that addiction IS a disease in itself. It is not the person's fault that they are an addict, though it is their responsibility to actively seek recovery.
Last week, the Department of Human Resources, Division of MHDDAD, presented the 2010 budget to the House Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee. The proposed cuts to the substance abuse prevention and treatment delivery system are devastating. More than 3,000 Georgia citizens will not have access to addiction treatment on an annual basis.

These cuts will affect:
1,100 adolescents needing community supports
675 men and women needing core services
Over 600 women and their children in both residential and outpatient care
300 parolees needing intensive outpatient treatment
250+ children and adolescents needing core services
1,000 people addicted to opiates
120 various providers of substance abuse treatment services
Workforce development initiatives across the State in training and quality improvement

We know that treatment for addiction is cost-effective, both financially and socially.
Cuts drug use in half
Reduces criminal activity as much as 80%
Increases employment
Decreases homelessness
Improves physical and mental health
Reduces medical costs
Reduces risky sexual behavior
And yet, addiction treatment services are being cut 24% while cuts to all other human services are between 5 - 10%. The economic realities of today are tough and sacrifices have to be made. But slashing direct services to a vulnerable population at this rate is just irresponsible.

ACT NOW and Send this message to the following legislators who have the ability to affect the proposed cuts:

Speaker of the House, Glenn Richardson: Speaker Richardson
Rep. Ben Harbin, Chair of Appropriations: Representative Harbin
Rep. Mark Butler, Vice Chair: Representative Butler
Senator Jack Hill, Chair of Appropriations: Senator Jack Hill
Senator Tommie Williams: Senator Williams

Click here to get a list of the members of the House Committee on Health and Human Services, and send each of them the message by clicking on their names to get their e-mail addresses.

Click here to a list of the members of the Senate Committee on health and Human Services and send each of them the message by clicking on their names to get their e-mail addresses.

MESSAGE TEXT (copy text below and paste into an email message):

In times of economic and personal stress, we need to ensure that Georgians who abuse substances and who are battling the disease of addiction have the resources to aid them through the crisis. The Governor's 2010 proposal is to cut Addictive Disease services by 24%. This will eliminate entire programs and severely impede the effectiveness of others. The proposed cuts will also affect the ability to draw down federal dollars beginning in FY2010, thus reducing the overall funding for addiction services even further. Please act now to minimize the severe cuts to addiction services. Without your intervention, the costs will be tremendous in emergency rooms, jails and prisons, and will be a heavy financial and social burden on Georgia citizens for years to come.

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