Closing the Treatment Gap Will Help Texans and Save the State Money

Texas is facing several important, interrelated issues regarding the treatment of alcohol and substance abuse problems:

We need to recognize when Texans have a drug or alcohol addiction.

With more than 1.8 million Texans suffering from an alcohol or drug dependency, screening for addiction and accurately measuring the number of Texans facing addiction issues will help us to close the treatment gap.

We need to make treatment available to people who have drug or alcohol addictions.

There’s not enough funding to treat Texans with recognized chemical dependency problems. (In 2008, Texas treated only 5.8% of chemically dependent people who qualified for state funded services.)

Evidence shows that spending more on treatment and prevention will save Texas money.

Numerous studies have concluded that targeted, evidence-based prevention programs provide significant return-on-investment for the state by reducing utilization of the criminal justice system, and reducing healthcare costs due to reduced drug and alcohol abuse.