May 06, 2010

Take Action, Texas!

It is time to take action regarding Appropriations for Substance Abuse.....We need people present at the meetings listed below AND/OR to write letters that will be there to show your interest on the date of the meetings.

The following are the talking points that should be covered when you take action..... Note: The following talking points are meant to provide general guidance regarding suggested messaging for the DSHS teleconference. We encourage members to tailor their testimony to their own work and experience where possible.

Talking points for participants in DSHS teleconference regarding exceptional item requests:

1. Introduce yourself, and briefly describe the services provided by your organization (i.e., prevention, treatment, residential).

2. The membership of ASAP strongly supported DSHS’ exceptional item from last legislative session that would have increased funding for substance abuse treatment and prevention services. We sincerely appreciate DSHS making substance abuse funding a priority during that session.

3. We understand that the state faces a difficult budget situation, and that funds will be extremely limited across the board.

4. We would respectfully urge DSHS and budget writers to keep the following in mind as it makes budget decisions and sets priorities heading into the next session. (Note: pick one or two of the following topics to include, and use personal experience during explanation.)

a. Current funding for substance abuse treatment and prevention services does not meet the demand for those services. (If possible, cite personal experiences regarding unmet need and/or lack of providers in your region.)

b. Studies have shown that expenditures for substance abuse prevention and treatment services are offset by savings in other areas.

c. The legislature began to acknowledge this fact in 2007 when instead of spending scarce resources to build additional prisons, it instead made treatment services available for certain individuals in the criminal justice system.

d. In 2009, the legislature included an adult substance abuse treatment benefit for Medicaid enrollees based upon a finding by the Legislative Budget Board that the anticipated expenditures would be more than offset by reduced medical care expenditures. This conclusion was based actual results already observed here in Texas.

e. Numerous studies have also concluded that targeted, evidence-based prevention programs provide significant return on investment for the state by improving education performance, reducing utilization of our criminal justice system, and reducing health care expenditures due to reduced drug and alcohol abuse.

5. We appreciate DSHS’ support for substance abuse programs in this state. We understand the budget situation facing policymakers, and simply request the this agency keep these points in mind during the budget process.


Region 1 City of Amarillo Health Department 1000 Martin Road Amarillo, TX 79105 806-351-7220 Department of State Health Services Conference Room 201 1109 Kemper Street Lubbock, TX 79403 806-744-3577

Region 2/3 Department of State Health Services 1301 South Bowen Road, Room 2208 Arlington, TX 76013 817-264-4500 Tarrant County Health Department Sara Josephine Baker Classroom 1101 South Main, Room 2412 Fort Worth, TX 76104 817-321-5300 Wichita Falls County Public Health Department 1700 Third Street Wichita Falls, TX 76301 940-761-7805

Region 4/5N Department of State Health Services 1517 West Front Street, Room 257 Tyler, TX 75702 903-595-3585

Region 6/5S Department of State Health Services 5425 Polk Street, Suite J Conference Room 4-A Houston, TX 77023 713-767-3000 Galveston County Health Department 1207 Oak Street, Board Room LaMarque, TX 75568 409-938-2401

Region 7 Department of State Health Services 1100 West 49th Street, K-100 Austin, TX 78756 512-458-7404 Department of State Health Services 2408 South 37th Street Temple, TX 76504 254-778-6744

Region 8 Department of State Health Services 7430 Louis Pasteur, Room 228 San Antonio, TX 78229 210-949-2000 City of Laredo Health Department 2600 Cedar Avenue Laredo, TX 78043 956-795-4901

Region 9/10 Department of State Health Services 401 East Franklin, Suite 210 Second Floor Conference Room El Paso, TX 79901 915-834-7675 Ector County Health Department 21 North Texas Street Odessa, TX 79761 432-498-4141

Region 11 Department of State Health Services 601 West Sesame Drive Rockport Room Harlingen, TX 78550 956-423-0130 Department of State Health Services 1233 Agnes Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 956-423-0130

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