Some states with major drug and alcohol abuse problems are spending far too little on treatment programs, a House panel chairman has charged.
Spending ranges from $43.22 per capita in the District of Columbia to 87 cents per capita in Texas, said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., chairman of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee.Utah spends $17.1 million, or $10.23 per capita, and $1,241 per drug or alcohol admission, the report said.
Stark said Minnesota spent $112 for each admission to a treatment program while Hawaii spent $2,770, or 25 times as much.
"Some states with high rates of drug addiction and alcoholism definitely are not spending enough," Stark said Wednesday. "Other states, it seems, are running model, cost-effective treatment programs open to anyone with a problem."
He called the discrepancies in state spending "mind-boggling."
Furthermore, Stark said, "no comparative data are coming from these state experiments which would allow the rational development of better approaches" to drug and alcohol treatment.
Stark said he plans next year to re-introduce a bill that would guarantee on-demand treatment for all drug dependencies and require ongoing evaluations designed to weed out wasteful or ineffective approaches.