The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, an agency within the Federal Department of Health and Hospitals, estimates that 223,000 Louisiana residents suffer from untreated alcoholism and an additional 100,000 suffer from untreated, active drug addiction. See SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2012 and 2013. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reports that 522 people died in Louisiana from drug overdoses in 2012, and that more than 100 died in Jefferson Parish alone in 2013. See Michelle Hunter, Heroin fuels surge in deadly overdoses in Jefferson Parish, Nov. 26, 2013, Times Picayune.
The Louisiana mortality rate for drug overdoses exceeds the national average by 20%, and Louisiana has the 19th highest drug mortality rate in the United States. Greater New Orleans Drug Demand Reduction Coalition, New Orleans Drug Control Strategy 2012, p. 10; Trust for America’s Health, Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic 2013. 49% of culprits and victims in New Orleans homicides had prior arrests for drug charges. Greater New Orleans Drug Demand Reduction Coalition, New Orleans Drug Control Strategy 2012, p. 10. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the societal costs of alcoholism and drug abuse to the United States are estimated to be $417 billion per year, primarily related to crime, lost work productivity and health care. Finally, we know that a sober living house such as Jason’s House has well-documented, potentially dramatic effects on the recovery of its residents.See, e.g., Polcin, Douglas L. et al. “Community Context of Sober Living Houses.”Addiction research & theory 20.6 (2012): 480–491. PMC. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.