Friday, March 3, 2017

Letter To The President Asking His Support For Addiction Solutions

Dear President Trump,

We are writing as Americans who, regardless of political affiliation, are deeply concerned by the addiction crisis ravaging our country. You shared openly how alcoholism devastated your brother Fred’s life. In fact, addiction to alcohol and other drugs impacts 45 million Americans and their families. As you heard during the campaign, 21 million families today are being torn apart by substance use disorders, thousands more bury their children each year- at ever-younger ages, and drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in America. 
Americans have made it apparent they want our elected leaders to address this crisis.  Indeed, a study of the election results found your voters turned out in significantly greater numbers over previous candidates — specifically in counties with the highest drug, alcohol, and suicide mortality rates.
Our current national response to this crisis is nowhere near proportionate to its magnitude. The consequences of untreated addiction costs our economy $442 billion a year – twice what we spend on diabetes. We heard much about supply-side reduction ideas throughout the campaign. However, we want to make clear evidence-based prevention programs have a return-on-investment of $58 for every $1 spent. Recent studies show every dollar spent on substance use disorder treatment saves $4 in health care costs and $7 in criminal justice costs. There are likely few investments you will make during your administration with this type of return to the budget and, importantly, to the families and communities impacted.
You have expressed strong interest in reforming our healthcare system. Currently, mental health and substance use disorder insurance benefits are required to be offered at parity with physical health conditions for millions of Americans. Budget analysis shows that providing comprehensive coverage for these chronic conditions reduces overall health costs in all sectors, especially the staggering costs of co-morbid conditions. At a time when our nation is suffering terribly from the growing burden of addiction, eliminating the ability for people to access prevention, treatment, and ongoing recovery supports could have catastrophic consequences – in economic, societal, and human terms.
The signors of this letter are part of a fast growing movement of people affected by the addiction crisis. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with members of your Administration to discuss these important issues and stand at the ready to support the implementation of solutions that will save lives.


pic from Wikipedia

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