Lawmakers, People in Drug, Alcohol Treatment Protest Governor Pat Quinn’s Budget Cuts to Eliminate 2,500 from Treatment

Sara Howe

(Chicago, IL) — Since 1995, the number of Illinois women in drug, alcohol treatment has surged 41%, but Governor Pat Quinn this year is still cutting treatment services by 8%, which will toss more than 2,500 out of treatment, of whom nearly 1,000 are women.

Quinn’s cuts comes on the heals of a 22% budget cuts that the Governor imposed on substance abuse prevention and treatment services last year, according to Sara Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association.

Additionally, in 2009, a resurgent heroin crisis killed more than 100 people in Northern Illinois alone, a crisis that is zeroing in on local teens. Meanwhile, Quinn’s proposed budget will eliminate drug prevention for more than 1,000 youth.

Faced with the surging need for treatment and dwindling state money, public officials and private citizens yesterday rallied

State Sentor Mattie Hunter and Theodora Binion Taylor

at a community forum to discuss the cost and impact of untreated addiction and to protest Quinn’s budget cuts to prevention and treatment services.

Sponsored by the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association; Haymarket Center, Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC, Inc.) and Healthcare Alternative Systems, Inc., the packed auditorium at Haymarket heard from multiple speakers:

  • John Roberts, Father who lost 19 year-old to heroin overdose, Chicago Police Captain (retired), Program Chair of Criminal/Social Justice at Lewis University (retired)
  • Mattie Hunter, State Senator (Chicago-3)
  • Earlean Collins, Cook County Commissioner
  • Paul Biebel, Presiding Judge, Criminal Division, Cook County Circuit Court
  • Anthony Cole, Vice President, Haymarket Center;  Board Chairman, Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association (IADDA)
  • Sara Howe, CEO, IADDA
  • Roger Romanelli – CEO, Randolph/Fulton Market Association
  • Theodora Binion Taylor, Director of the Division of. Alcoholism and Substance

Inadequate Illinois Budget for Drug Abuse Prevention Helps Drive Heroin Crisis in Will County, IADDA Says

(Joliet, IL) — April 1, 2010. The forum “The New Face of Heroin Addiction: Illinois Teens” drew more than 150 people on Tuesday to Joliet West High School on Tuesday night.

Joliet Herald-News reporter Catherine Ann Velasco writes:

The number of deaths in Will County caused by heroin overdoses has almost doubled from 15 in 2005 to 29 in 2009. Over, the five-year period, there have been 86 heroin deaths, said Bob Brenczewski, chief deputy of the Will County Coroner’s Office.

Illinois is spending $5 billion or 14 percent of its budget on the consequences of untreated addictions, such as criminal justice costs and domestic violence. But only $147 million is spent on prevention and treatment services, said Sara Moscato Howe, chief executive officer of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association.

“The heroin crisis is escalating because the state can’t put as many prevention workers in the schools,” she said.

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