26 October 2009

Health Care in West Virginia: Drug Abuse

A new report estimates that "preventable ailments stemming from alcohol and drug abuse" increased costs for West Virginia's health care system in 2007 to the tune of $116 million, The Associated Press reports.

AP's Tom Breen delves into the study by the Prevention Resource Center for the Partnership to Promote Community Well-Being, a group created by Gov. Joe Manchin.

"By 2017, the report estimates, the cost could be more than $201 million, even as the number of patients suffering from alcohol and drug-related diseases has held steady or even declined slightly in the last decade," the article said. "The only way to bring down those costs in the future, the report says, is to spend more money now -- on early intervention, prevention, treatment and recovery."

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