Repeated cutbacks have done severe damage not only to the substance abuse treatment field in Oregon but to a broad span of services that are now overwhelmed by the side effects of substance abuse. That's the lesson the state learned when it cut back substance abuse treatment money four years ago: untreated alcohol and drug abuse drives costs up.
"Time is running out for Oregon to act," said Anne Uhler, chair of the Governor's Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, in releasing the report, "The Domino Effect," May 5. Four years ago a financial crisis enveloped Oregon and the legislature reacted with drastic back-to-back reductions in funding for health care, including for substance abuse treatment, ranging from Medicaid to matching grants. Since then, Oregon has reduced addiction treatment services by at least $45 million, according to Uhler.
With the release of the report, it's clear that instead of saving money, the cutbacks had the disastrous effect of costing money.
The report, subtitled "A Business Plan for Re-Building Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment & Recovery," includes specific recommendations, …