Substance Abuse Funding

High Urban Weight Not Justified by Urban-Rural Differences in Need Gao ID: T-HRD-91-38 June 25, 1991

GAO discussed the distribution of $1.3 billion in federal funds under the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Block grant program, focusing on: (1) the apportionment formula used to distribute the block grant funds and its effectiveness in targeting funds to states; and (2) an alternative formula being considered by Congress. GAO noted that: (1) urban states received higher per-capita funding than could be justified by studies of urban-rural differences in drug abuse or the cost of providing services; (2) the current formula does a poor job of directing aid to low-income states, since it does not make an explicit adjustment for differences in the cost of providing treatment services; and (3) the revised formula proposed by Congress would eliminate the current urban population factor and more accurately reflect urban-rural differences in people at risk and the cost of services.

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