"While most Hoosiers would agree with the governor that we have a health insurance crisis, one of the contributing factors is untreated alcohol and drug addiction. By increasing the alcohol tax, funds could be generated to help Hoosiers who want and need treatment but do not receive it.

Whether we want to believe it or not, addiction affects all of us. In the health care arena, Hoosiers with addictions use the emergency room more often and at a cost of $851 million annually. Economically, it is estimated that 500 million sick days were attributable to addiction related causes and cost the American economy $185 billion in lost productivity.

But the good news in all of this is that treatment works. Study after study affirms it. The Rand Corporation found that for every dollar invested in treatment, U.S. taxpayers save approximately $7.46 in societal costs, or the costs associated with law enforcement, health care, criminal justice, welfare and other programs and services.

Jill Matheny, Director

Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition

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