Illinois ‘Doomsday’ Budget Slashes Drug Treatment for 65,000 Residents; Madigan, Cullerton, Cross, Radogno, and Quinn Urged to “Get Back to Work”

(Springfield, IL) – Illinois’ addiction prevention and treatment advocates today denounced the ‘doomsday’ budget approved by the Illinois legislature on Sunday, saying it will slash drug treatment for more than 65,000 Illinois residents starting on July 1, 2009.

“This budget will destroy Illinois’ addiction healthcare system,” said Sara

Sara Moscato Howe, CEO, IADDA

Sara Moscato Howe, CEO, IADDA

Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “Little will remain standing on July 1.”

The legislature’s ‘doomsday’ budget—a spending plan without Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed income tax increase—guts both the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse budget for community treatment providers and funds for addiction prevention for community prevention providers, a total of nearly $84 million.

The ‘doomsday’ budget will eliminate drug treatment services for 65,000 currently served by state-financed community providers across Illinois, Howe estimates.

Currently, untreated addiction costs the State of Illinois over $3 billion a year. Increases in health insurance rates, incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, domestic violence, on-the-job accidents, lost worker productivity, school drop-out rates, teen pregnancy, and traffic accidents and fatalities are all attributable to untreated addiction, says Howe.

“Crime rates, domestic violence incidents, and traffic accidents will explode across Illinois,” said Howe.

“We urge Speaker Michael Madigan, Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, Minority Leader Christine Radogno and Governor Quinn to go back to work and to approve an income tax increase to restore the $84 million to the addiction healthcare system and not unleash a doomsday that will decimate Illinois communities.”