216735 Economic impact of substance abuse in Indiana

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Eric R. Wright, PhD , School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Center for Health Policy, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
Marion S. Greene, MPH , Center for Health Policy, Department of Public Health, IU School of Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
Background: Substance abuse and addiction have a profound impact on all sectors of society. They are major contributors to a wide range of health and social problems, including domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, crime, chronic health problems, increased mortality, higher healthcare costs, and lost productivity. The real economic impact of substance abuse is difficult to quantify empirically because there are both direct and indirect consequences. Methods: In 2009, CASA released a study that measured the financial burden of substance abuse/addiction on both the nation and individual states. Since Indiana did not participate in the study, and an estimate of costs attributable to substance abuse is critical in guiding prevention planning, the State Epidemiology and Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) decided to replicate CASA's methodology and assess Indiana's expenditures related to alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse. We (SEOW) followed CASA's methodology whenever possible and attempted to identify federal, state, and local spending for FY 2008. In instances where we could not retrieve detailed data from state departments, we relied on the as-passed state budget. Findings: According to our analysis, a total of $7.3 billion in allocations can be attributed to substance abuse; representing a per-capita share of $1,145. Most of Indiana's funding is allocated to address the consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use rather than to prevent or reduce its occurrence. For every dollar Indiana spends on services dealing directly or indirectly with substance use, 66 cents are used for healthcare, while only 1 cent pays for prevention/intervention initiatives.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Recognize the financial impact substance abuse has on states and the nation. Describe the importance of economic impact analysis in prevention planning. Discuss the implications of the study’s findings for budget allocations. Identify strategies to improve methodology for analysis and economic data collection.

Keywords: Economic Analysis, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Considerable experience on ATOD and other research; professor and division director for health policy and management at major university; chair of state epidemiology workgroup
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.