MATTHEW PERRY LOBBIES CONGRESS FOR DRUG COURT FUNDING

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By Janie Amaya

Actor Matthew Perry joined the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Thursday to raise awareness of the effect drug courts and their substance abuse programs have in an effort to prevent Congress from slashing their respective budgets.

Perry lobbied Congress to fund drug courts at a minimum of $86 million in 2012 to help the program reach a higher percentage of the millions who need its services.

Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) echoed Perry’s words and added that this kind of funding could save the country some serious dough in the long-term.

“We lose about $400 billion a year in the U.S. from loss of productivity in the workforce due to alcohol and drug addiction,” Sullivan said. “It’s an elephant in the room that we need to address.

According to the NADCP, when compared to the $23,000 it costs the traditional criminal justice system to house one prisioner, the average cost drops below $7,000 per drug court participant.

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