The introduction states:
For every dollar federal and state
governments spent to prevent and treat
substance abuse and addiction, they spent
$59.83 in public programs shoveling up its
Of every dollar federal and state governments†
spent on substance abuse and addiction in 2005,
95.6 cents went to shoveling up the wreckage
and only 1.9 cents on prevention and treatment,
0.4 cents on research, 1.4 cents on taxation or
regulation and 0.7 cents on interdiction.
Under any circumstances spending more than 95
percent of taxpayer dollars on the consequences
of tobacco, alcohol and other drug abuse and
addiction and less than two percent to relieve
individuals and taxpayers of this burden would
be considered a reckless misallocation of public
funds. In these economic times, such upsidedown-
cake public policy is unconscionable.
This distortion of spending priorities is like a photographic image that is almost totally over-exposed. The histogram, a graph of tonal distribution, would display a horizontal line that was low and flat until the extreme right, where it would shoot up vertically.
Other analogies come to mind. There is the fallacy that we can advance our goals in Pakistan’s Northwest Provinces with unmanned drones; or eradicate roaches by swatting them on a kitchen counter.
Here is the bottom line: Unless we divert far greater financial resources to research and to the treatment of addiction in the United States; our substance-related spending on medical care, prosecution and punishment will have little impact on either preventing or minimizing this serious mental health problem.
The authorities say that local arrests rarely make a difference. New dealers pop up within weeks. It’s like sweeping sunshine off the roof,” Mr. [Anthony C.] Marotta [head of the Columbus, Ohio office] of the D.E.A. said.
 Virginia spent 9.4% of its budget on tackling substance abuse and addiction in 2005. Of only five (5) states that spent less, (SC, AR, SD, WV and WY), none includes a large urban population. In the areas of prevention, treatment and research, only seven (7) states spent less than Virginia in 2005.