As Pat Quinn Readies Budget Cuts, Drug, Alcohol Treatment Advocates Commend Governor for Making Health Care a Priority

(Springfield, IL) — As Governor Pat Quinn prepares to implement the new Illinois budget sent to him by the Illinois General Assembly, drug and alcohol prevention and treatment advocates are commending Quinn for his priority to protect health care.

“We commend Governor Quinn for making health care a budget priority,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “To make health care priority a priority, we urge the Governor to protect funding for addiction health care services.”

Governor Quinn’s original budget for the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse within the Illinois Department of Human Services, headed by Secretary Michelle Saddler, had planned to slash Illinois drug and alcohol treatment for more than 2,500 Illinois residents, including 1,000 women.

Since 1995, the number of Illinois women in drug, alcohol has surged 41%, Illinois women need more help, not less,” said Howe. “We want Governor Quinn avoid cuts to addiction health care services that will fall on women.”

Proposed budget cuts this year for community prevention and treatment providers would be on a top a 22% cut last year.

“Relentless budget cuts are forcing the Illinois addiction healthcare system into a death spiral and women are increasingly suffering the brunt of the budget pain,” said Howe.

In FY 2009, there 89,909 individuals receiving treatment services, down from 101,105 in FY 2008, a 11.6% decrease.

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