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SWFAS Reaches Milestone of 80,000 Served
Southwest Florida Addiction Services has reached a new milestone of serving 80,000 people with substance abuse disorders over the 33-year history of the not-for-profit organization.
SWFAS CEO Kevin B. Lewis said there is increasing need for substance abuse treatment and prevention services. In the past year, approximately 6,000 individuals received treatment services in various SWFAS programs.
“The good news is that there is increasing awareness of the value of treating the disease of addiction, rather than simply dealing with the consequences of it. That’s a turnaround from years past,” he said.
A study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University showed that 96 cents of every $1 spent by government on substance abuse was used to fund the aftermath of addiction on the criminal justice system, health care, schools, child welfare, and highway deaths.
Only 3.7 cents goes to fund prevention, treatment, and research programs aimed a reducing the incidence and consequences of substance abuse.
“Government leaders at all levels are learning that it is cheaper to fund treatment than it is to shovel up the wreckage left by substance abuse disorders. Addiction is a chronic disease. With treatment, people do recover,” Lewis said.
SWFAS is Southwest Florida’s leader in the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders. About 6,000 people annually, from ages 9 to 90, start on the road to recovery with the nationally-acclaimed programs of SWFAS. SWFAS offers state-of-the-
SWFAS services are not free. Payment plans are available and, in many cases, private insurance may cover some of the cost of treatment. Many prevention and treatment services are partially supported by Lee County and state funding to help income-eligible residents. SWFAS is a United Way agency. SWFAS provides services for all regardless of disability or handicap. Accommodations will be provided upon request.
For more information about SWFAS programs, call 239-332-6937 or visit www.swfas.org