Drug addiction is one of the fundamental problems the US is facing today and a vital priority area it ought to address to reduce the heavy spending it does on correctional services. The state-funded rehabilitation programs are also vital in helping individuals with hopes of recovery from addiction but cannot afford admission into private facilities However, from 2013, federal funding for the treatment and prevention of substance abuse has significantly declined by about 20%. This reduction has not only affected the addicts and society at large but also the rehabilitation centers who in some cases have to completely shut down. Speaking to Lisa Marsilio, the Chief Operating Officer at the Caron Foundation via email, this reduction limits the number of patients they can accommodate at any instance. In some cases> she says, the foundation has been forced to eliminate services that catered for about 40% of the patients they had; as a result, they have no option but to send some of the addicts’ home.
The situation also renders the organization incapable of managing the salaries of its counselors owing to the less number of patients to take care of, Nonetheless, most of their patients are those who cannot afford the rehabilitation costs making the organization almost entirely dependent on state funding to meet its running costs. Consequently, it is also forced to lay off some their employees, However, the key impact of the funding cuts as she says is the reduction in the rehabilitation programs. The specific programs significantly affected are alcohol addiction programs, mental health treatment and behavioral health services, The criteria for this cut she says depends on the level of impacts the addiction have on the individual hinting that most of the addicts in these categories can relatively survive without any adverse effects.
The organization has also been forced to drop some of the drug education programs it was delivering in partnership with schools. To the general society, the funding reduction has led to an upsurge in crime since most of the addicts freely roam the streets and with limited control of their actions, violence is the key order of the day. As a result, taxpayers have to pay more since prisons are becoming more crowded with inmates 0n drug-related crimes and much more funding will be needed to enhance security and cater for the prisoner rehabilitation programs. Other public institutions like health systems will also be over-packed with patients suffering from substance addictions.
It will also lead to public impairment since the addicts will be all over and when they indulge in activities like driving, the consequent results will be accidents, property loss and massive damages Cases have also been reported of professionals like doctors indulging in malpractices owing to substance addiction. Also, families will undergo hard times ranging from subjection to abuse, financial difficulties, domestic violence and loss of members For instance, there has been an upsurge in the number of reported heroin and other opiate-related deaths over the past five years. As a result, more families are on the verge of breakups with children being the most affected, Their addicted parents no longer fend for them and they are also at times prompted to indulge in crime to meet their basic needs. Consequently, the federal government ought to increase the funding to rehabilitation institutions to curtail these effects.