August 18, 2009
Denver, CO — Today, Governor Ritter announced plans to cut $320 million from the Colorado state budget. Among the programs spared were critical drug and alcohol treatment services. Arapahoe House, Colorado’s leading provider of drug and alcohol services for vulnerable populations, applauds Governor Ritter for his leadership in the face of adversity, and his dedication to preserving services for Colorado’s most needy.
“Faced with no easy choices, Governor Ritter stood up today for the most vulnerable in our society, people such as our clients who are struggling with difficult challenges,” said David Murphy, CEO of Arapahoe House.
Research shows that every $1 spent on drug and alcohol treatment saves taxpayers $7. An investment in drug and alcohol treatment is an investment in creating healthier communities. People in need of critical chemical dependency treatment turn to other resources, such as the emergency room, when affordable treatment isn’t available. The brunt of the cost filters down to hospitals and the health care system, costing all of us critical dollars.
“The decisions made today minimize the impact on providers who help people in substance abuse recovery programs and ensure that vital service providers such as Arapahoe House can continue our mission,” said deputy director of Arapahoe House, Art Schut.
Among the cuts announced Tuesday, critical services that result in cost savings to the health care and corrections system were mostly protected.
“Cuts to substance abuse treatment would have been dire,” said Murphy. “Arapahoe House would be faced with a devastating challenge of cutting services to those who are most in need. The majority of the people that come to our organization for help have nowhere else to go. We’re incredibly grateful for Governor Ritter’s commitment to the most vulnerable.”