Engaging in Treatment
Though the financial, social, and health impacts of alcohol and other drug problems are catastrophic, there is a solution. Treatment has been shown to save lives and money by (1) reducing substance use, (2) reducing crime, (3) decreasing incarceration, (4) improving health, (5) improving family functioning, (6) decreasing injury, and (7) increasing employment (Belenko et al., 2005).

If treatment saves lives and money, why aren’t more people being treated? Some believe that it costs too much to provide treatment. But research on the economic impact of treatment consistently illustrates that the economic benefits of treatment outweigh the cost. A review of the economic benefits of treatment found the average net benefit per client was $42,905 with 98% of that net benefit— $42,151—being in crime reduction (McCollister and French, 2003). Treating alcohol and other drug problems also reduces other public health concerns such as HIV and hepatitis B and C.