New Report on Oklahoma Drug Abuse

Oklahoma City, OK – Report: Substance abuse costly to state budget

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A national study shows that Oklahoma spent nearly 12 percent of its state budget in 2005 on costs connected to substance abuse and addiction.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York released its study today.

The report shows Oklahoma spent less than 1 percent of its budget during the same year on substance abuse prevention, treatment and research.

The three-year analysis on public spending is based on 2005 data, the most recent available for the study, but researchers say there has been little change since that time in how state resources are allocated.

Of every state dollar Oklahoma spent on substance abuse and addiction, including smoking, in 2005, the study shows 97 cents went toward corrections, the judicial system, child welfare and other related costs. Only 3 cents in Oklahoma went toward prevention and treatment.

Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Commissioner Terri White says there is clear evidence that substance abuse treatment can save the state money in the long run.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.