Substance abuse is considered to have social costs. Well noted are the negative effects that alcohol addiction has on families and individuals. The actions of addicts also has a serious economic effect. Many argue that adding to the economic burden are the programs for alcohol addiction treatment. In Malibu, the opposite is also noted. Professionals at rehab centers and researchers argue that the drain on the United Sates economy can be reduced by increasing the availability of alcohol addiction treatment centers.
The Economic Costs of Alcohol Addiction
The economic costs of alcohol addiction are substantial. In 2011, the estimated economic impact was $251.06 billion. This included both direct and indirect impacts.
Direct Impacts include
* Medical Care: The costs of the health consequences of alcohol addiction including the children born with fetal alcohol syndrome
* Justice System: The cost of law enforcement and related justice system aspects
* Social Services: These are those required to remove and assume care of the individual and family members
* Alcohol: The cost of purchasing it which reduces the money that could be spent in a more fiscally responsible manner
* Insurance Costs: These result from health issues as well as from conflicts between the alcohol dependent individual and the public e.g. car accident
There are also indirect economic costs including:
* Lost productivity: This can result from illness (producing absenteeism) or even premature death
* Lost Earnings: Absenteeism and death result in the family and the individual being deprived of earnings
One way to solve the problem is to seriously consider alcohol addiction treatment. In Malibu, professionals perceive this as a means of turning a negative economic situation into a positive one that will benefit everyone who is involved on a local, state and national scale.
The Positive Economic Benefits of Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Research, together with several studies, clearly indicates that positive economic benefits result from alcohol addiction treatment. In Malibu, and throughout the United States and Canada, the conclusion is that such forms of intervention are worth the initial cost. Alcohol addiction treatment programs act to help deter ongoing and even economic costs that result from inaction. In fact, the benefits to the economic wellbeing of the country far exceed the money spent on alcohol addiction treatment in Malibu and across the United States. One study has concluded that every single dollar that is spent on addiction treatment results in a savings of an average of $4 in cost for the healthcare system and $7 in costs that comprise various forms of the criminal justice system including enforcement. This is an aspect that government, treatment facilities and the justice system have to look at more closely. They need to consider the ramifications of ignoring what is clearly the economic as well as social and cultural cost of addiction.
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