The total savings over the next decade for these beneficiaries would be $61 billion. If beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare HMOs received similar discounts, the total savings over the next decade would be $96 billion. - Over six million Medicare beneficiaries could avoid the “donut hole.” Drug benefits under standard Medicare drug plans end once beneficiaries have used $2,250 worth of drugs and do not begin again until they have used over $5,100 worth of drugs. The latest estimates indicate that 6.2 million beneficiaries nationwide will hit the donut hole this year, resulting in average out-of-pocket costs of $1,700 per beneficiary. Democratic reform proposals in Congress would provide enough savings to eliminate or significantly reduce the size of the donut hole.

This value represents both the use of resources to address health and crime consequences as well as the loss of potential productivity from disability, premature death, and withdrawal from the legitimate workforce.12 ONDCP seeks to foster healthy individuals and safe communities by effectively leading the Nation’s effort to reduce drug use and its consequences. December 2010 Addiction and Treatment Need In 2009, 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem (9.3 percent of persons in that age group). Of these, 7.1 million persons needed treatment for illicit drug problems, with or without alcohol.13 Of the 23.5 million persons needing substance use treatment, 2.6 million received treatment at a specialty facility in the past year, and of the 7.1 million needing drug treatment, 1.5 million received specialty treatment.14 Acute Health Effects In 2008, an estimated 2 million visits to emergency departments in US hospitals were associated with drug misuse or abuse, including close to one million (993,379) visits involving an illicit drug. Nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals was involved in 971,914 visits.15 Cocaine was involved in 482,188 visits, marijuana was involved in 374,435 visits, heroin was involved in 200,666 visits, and stimulants (including amphetamines and methamphetamine) were involved in 91,939 visits. Criminal Justice Involvement According to a 2009 study of arrestees in 10 major metropolitan areas across the country, drug use among the arrestee population is much higher than in the general U.S. population.

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