Beshear Touts State-Supported Substance Abuse Programs

Mar 27, 2012

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is touting a new report that confirms the effectiveness and efficiency of state-supported substance abuse treatment centers. 

A report prepared by the University of Kentucky’s Center for Drug and Alcohol Research concluded that enrollees in a Recovery Kentucky program are 75% more likely to abstain from drugs and are equally less likely to spend time in jail.

“One thing we have learned is that you can’t just throw money at the problem.  You have to attack it strategically and you have to do so cost effectively, especially in this era of tight resources.  And that is the value of this report.  It tell us that number one, the Kentucky approach is working", Beshear told a crowd at Lexington's Hope Center on Tuesday.

Matt Layton, who directs the Hope Center's Recovery Kentucky program for men, says the report confirms what he has believed for years:  a long-haul, peer-driven approach works more effectively.

“Most programs are thirty day programs or less or they are short outpatient programs.  We are a four to six month program which is based on recovery dynamics.  It’s a series of classes that takes the clients through the big book, the AA big book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Each class takes them through a chapter and they have homework on the class and they also have onsite jobs like working in the  kitchen, grounds, security; stuff like that.”

Layton says it often takes some time before clients realize they are  turning their lives around.

“A lot of them when they first get here they have to sleep on the floor over in the regular shelter and then a lot of them don’t want to be here and they complain and when they go through the program they start to get what we call the psychic change where they start to believe in the program and in themselves and then of course when they graduate it’s hard for us to get rid of them.  They don’t want to leave.”

The report also showed that for every one dollar the state puts into programs like Recovery Kentucky, nearly three dollars is saved in offset costs.