*** Keep all letters to one page!
The Honorable (full name)
The Honorable (full name)
Texas House of Representatives
PO Box 2910
PO Box 12068
Austin, TX 78768-2910
Austin, TX 78711-2068
Dear Mr./Mrs. (last name)
Dear Senator (last name)
I am writing to urge you to support the DSHS exceptional item request for $33 million per year for substance
abuse prevention and treatment in SB 1. Substance use disorders are not
only a hardship on individuals and
families, it is a significant economic burden for government, businesses and taxpayers in ( local area
It is estimated that
(insert local prevalence data if accessible) OR…. 854,000 Texans over the age 12
needed substance abuse treatment in 2007, yet only 64,000 received it and current funding is only sufficient to
fund prevention programs in 1of every 8 public schools in Texas.
As a board member of (your organization) and/or a
(cite field/profession/local position. Ex: business owner,
mother of 3, person in recovery, etc.), I have witnessed the devastation this disease has on children and families as well
as the burden it places on our local police, jails, courts, schools, social service and healthcare systems. It is arguably the
most pervasive and cross-cutting health and safety issue in Texas.
Substance abuse treatment and prevention program work, but our existing funding does not support the current needs of our
(Insert program or personal prevention/treatment/recovery information about local need and/or a
Medicaid coverage for treatment in Texas is very limited and an estimated 2,800 adults and 164 youth are on DSHS waiting
list to receive treatment. Among those who receive treatment, abstinence rates for alcohol increased 43% and abstinence
from other drugs increased by 33%. Numerous studies estimate a greater than 7:1 ratio of benefits to costs for treatment.
School administrators want prevention programs in their schools as evidenced by waiting lists across the state. Two Iowa
State University studies show substance abuse prevention programs are economically beneficial, with a nearly $10 return
for every dollar invested.
The Department of State Health Services has identified the need to increase funding for substance abuse services and
included a $33 million per year exceptional item in their FY2010/11 Legislative Appropriations Request. I urge you to voice
support for this increase. Substance abuse services represent a value driven investment of taxpayer dollars that will result
in savings to the state through reductions in criminal justice, healthcare and increased productivity for Texas employers.
Thank you for your consideration. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at