We live in an era when only despite only 1 in 10 receive any treatment, there are fewer and fewer options available to get Americans the help they need. 

We live in an era when despite losing more Americans to overdose than car accidents and guns, we see many of the only evidence-based treatment providers for low and middle-income individuals in our communities closing.

Last week, the Denver-metro area’s largest substance use treatment provider closed its doors after decades of service. State and federal reimbursements for programs like Medicaid couldn’t keep up with the costs of treating the rapidly expanding population of low-income individuals needing treatment.

Arapahoe House served an estimated 5,000 Coloradans each year. That number includes some of the most vulnerable people with substance use disorders across the state: the homeless, expecting/current mothers, LGBT, and immigrant populations.

What happened in Denver last week is not an isolated incident. More and more of our communities across the country are grappling with the prospect of treating a record number of people as opioid, cocaine, methamphetamine and alcohol use skyrockets.

We know substance use leads many into places of considerable financial vulnerability and for many with severe substance use disorders, family support can be difficult to obtain – especially when the family is often the only resource available to pay for private treatment.

This year, the Trump administration made a historic announcement about the nation’s opioid crisis, formally declaring it a “national public health emergency.” While this move and many others like it help us get closer to making our communities recovery-ready, we can do little at the ground level without adequately funding treatment and recovery support from the federal and state level.

YPR believes we are literally in a fight to save lives. The White House recently said the cost of the opioid crisis alone to our economy was roughly $504 billion, or about half a trillion dollars in 2015. More importantly, we’re losing our loved ones, friends, neighbors and coworkers to overdoses every day.

We know treatment works; we’ve seen it in millions of Americans living in long-term recovery. Everyone deserves the opportunity to get the treatment they need to get better. Funding prevention, treatment, and recovery support is an investment in our country. The cost savings will be substantial, but the most significant victory will be in the number of lives saved, families reunited and communities transformed for the better.

The only way we can accomplish making our communities recovery-ready is with your support. Become an advocate and join us by becoming a supporter, applying to start a chapter, or consider donating to the cause.