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."