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APHA 2010: Study finds funding for substance abuse in Indiana lacking

An Indiana University study found that Indiana spends more on the health care consequences of substance abuse than on its prevention.

Eric Wright, director of the Center for Health Policy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, said that for every dollar Indiana spends on services dealing directly and indirectly with substance abuse, 66 cents are used for health care-related consequences while only 1 cent pays for prevention/intervention initiatives.

When compared with other states in the region, Indiana spends less than most states on substance abuse overall. On average, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky spend $543 more annually per capita on substance abuse than Indiana.

"Our hope is that this study will raise awareness about the potential economic value of prevention," Wright said. "While Indiana is more fiscally conservative, the data suggests that the state could save substantially on health care costs if we dedicated more funding toward substance abuse prevention."


The Center for Health Policy is part of the Department of Public Health in the IU School of Medicine.

This study is based on methodology developed by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. They utilized federal and state budget data for State Fiscal Year 2008.

"The Economic Impact of Substance Abuse in Indiana" will be presented on 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 8.

Wright can be reached at 317-274-3161 and For additional assistance, contact Tracy James at 812-855-0084 and

Eric Wright | EurekAlert!
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