Expansion of Substance Abuse Services

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 4
Words: 854
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: School


Substance abuse is a problem that affects everyone in our society. Substance abuse can significantly impact individuals and their families, businesses, and communities. The costs of substance abuse include medical expenses, criminal justice expenses, loss of income and productivity, and costs to society in the form of social welfare programs. Types of treatments include outpatient programs, residential programs, detoxification programs, long-term rehabilitation programs, and continuing care programs.

Definition of Terms

Drug abuse and addiction are using drugs that damage your health or harm others (Grooms & Ortega, 2019). Addiction is a compulsive, persistent desire for drugs or alcohol that causes problems in your life. Substance abuse is the use of drugs or alcohol in a way that causes problems in your life (Geyen & Bailey, 2021). Drug dependence is a physical and psychological dependence on drugs, characterized by the development of tolerance to the effects of the drug, withdrawal symptoms when drug use is stopped, and an increased need for the drug (Garfield et al., 2010).

Purpose of the Business Plan

This business plan aims to secure additional funding to expand the substance abuse counseling services currently provided by our organization. The expanded services will include an intensive outpatient program (IOP) and a residential treatment program (RTP). The IOP will provide more individualized attention and support, while the RTP will offer a structured environment that allows clients to live in a comfortable and supportive setting. We have identified several sources of funding that we think will be able to support our expansion efforts, namely private donors’ investment, securing grant money from government agencies, and generating revenue by selling services.

Substance use Statistics

In the United States, it is estimated that there are over 20 million people who suffer from some form of substance abuse or dependence. Of these, only a fraction (approximately 2.6 million) receive any form of treatment (SAMHSA, 2022). According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS), among Americans aged 12 years and older, there are roughly 38 million people who have used illicit drugs at least once in their lives (“Drug abuse statistics,” 2022). Substance abuse costs the United States hundreds of billions of dollars each year in terms of health care costs, law enforcement expenses, lost productivity, and criminal justice system expenses (SAMHSA, 2022). In addition, substance abuse also leads to several social and economic problems. For example, substance abuse can lead to decreased income and employment opportunities, increased housing costs, and higher poverty rates. According to FRED Economic data, 2021, substance abuse facilities have steady revenue growth (FRED, 2021).

Substance Abuse Treatments

Some common types of treatment include outpatient treatment (which involves meeting with a counselor once or twice a week), inpatient treatment (which involves staying in a hospital or rehab facility for an extended period), and residential treatment (which typically involves living in a rehabilitation center full-time). There is significant room for improvement in providing substance abuse services. For example, there is currently a shortage of mental health professionals with a shortage of treatment facilities that can accommodate people seeking substance abuse treatment in a residential setting. In addition, there is a significant lack of effective treatments for people struggling with addiction who do not have a severe form of the disorder (i.e., they do not meet the criteria for full-blown addiction). Ethically, the rights and well-being of patients should always be taken into account. Patients must feel comfortable discussing personal information with professionals to receive effective care. Properly informing patients about their treatment options and potential side effects is important. Care should be taken to avoid creating a negative self-image in patients.

Challenges when Implementing the Substance Abuse Treatment Program

Some of the challenges that may arise when providing additional services within a substance abuse treatment program are as follows. The increased number of patients could lead to overcrowding and poor patient care. Increased costs could be incurred due to hiring more staff members and purchasing additional equipment. This type of expansion could create conflict between different departments within the program, such as clinical, administrative, and financial.

Impacts of the Program on the Population

Improving access to and the quality of health care for the Medicaid population also may positively affect the health of others through improved public health.

Increasing Medicaid coverage for substance abuse treatment may improve access to care and discourage the use of substances, ultimately reducing alcohol and opioid-related morbidity and mortality. Increased access to evidence-based interventions is also important in improving treatment outcomes. The availability of evidence-based treatments decreases the need for patients to rely on anecdotal information or personal beliefs when making treatment decisions.


Substance abuse services are in high demand, and there is a great need for more resources to meet the demand. The challenges with expanding services within a substance abuse treatment program typically relate to ethical considerations and resource availability. Considering the ethical implications of providing additional services when expanding substance abuse treatment will be important. Additionally, it is important to ensure that any new services are well-matched to the needs of the patients being treated and that any expansion is done thoughtfully and ethically.


Drug abuse statistics. (2022). NCDAS.

FRED Economic Data. (2021). Total revenue for residential mental health and substance abuse facilities, all establishments, and employer firm.

Garfield, R. L., Lave, J. R., & Donohue, J. M. (2010). Health reform and the scope of benefits for mental health and substance use disorder services. Psychiatric Services, 61(11), 1081- 1086.

Geyen, D. J., & Bailey, R. K. (2021). Substance abuse and intimate partner violence. In Intimate partner violence (pp. 127-135). Springer.

Grooms, J., & Ortega, A. (2019). Examining Medicaid expansion and the treatment of substance use disorders. AEA Papers and Proceedings, 109, 187-92.

SAMHSA. (2022). Addiction statistics. Addiction Center.