Funding needed to fight addiction
Posted March 30, 2017 in Press Releases
Despite raging drug epidemic, Kasich budget flat funds treatment
In 2015, more than 3,300 people died from drug overdoses in Ohio. Despite a raging drug epidemic, Governor Kasich’s budget for 2018 and 2019 flat funds mental health and addiction services.
In a new Budget Bite released today, Policy Matters Ohio calls for increased investment, especially in publicly funded treatment beds. The recommended number of public psychiatric beds is 40 per 100,000 people. In 2016, Ohio had just 9.7. The state’s best-resourced region – the Columbus area – had just 23.5 public and private adult psychiatric beds per 100,000 people in 2014.
The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities calls for $27 million a year for regional crisis treatment and withdrawal management centers with more beds and services to fight the drug epidemic. The Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Service Providers supports this and also recommends, annually, an additional $10 million for recovery housing, $45 million for more in-patient beds for children and adolescents, and $33 million for universal prevention services in Ohio schools and targeted help for children most at risk.
“If Ohio is serious about combatting the growing drug epidemic and saving lives, these programs need dedicated state resources from the General Revenue Fund,” said Budget Bite author Wendy Patton. “We could get the funding by closing some of Ohio’s $9 billion in tax breaks and restoring top income tax brackets. Tax cuts have drained $3 billion from the state’s ability to provide desperately needed public services.”
Policy Matters Ohio is a nonprofit, nonpartisan state policy research institute with offices in Cleveland and Columbus.