May 18, 2009- (Springfield, IL) – Illinois’ alcohol and drug prevention and treatment advocates today denounced Governor Pat Quinn’s ‘doomsday’ budget, saying it will eliminate services for more than 355,000 Illinois residents starting on July 1, 2009.
“This budget will destroy Illinois’ addiction healthcare system,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “Little will remain standing on July 1.”
Quinn’s newly unveiled ‘doomsday’ budget—a spending plan without the Governor’s proposed income tax increase—eliminates both the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse budget for community treatment providers and all funds for addiction prevention within the Division of Community Health & Prevention budget for community prevention providers, a total loss of $170 million.
Quinn’s ‘doomsday’ budget will eliminate treatment services for 98,000 currently served by state-financed community providers across Illinois, Howe estimates.
“Cuts of this magnitude will eliminate services for more than 51,000 in Cook County alone,” said Howe.
Currently, untreated addiction costs the State of Illinois $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.
Additionally, the state’s community-based prevention system will be completely eliminated.
“Currently, our statewide substance abuse prevention system serves 257,071 youth ages 12 to 17,” said Howe. “Under this budget, every community-based addiction prevention provider will close.”
“We urge the General Assembly and Governor Quinn to approve an income tax increase to restore the $170 million to the addiction healthcare system and not unleash a doomsday that will decimate Illinois communities.”