Community, religious and business leaders have a very important role to play as public policy cannot address many of the problems Rhode Island must overcome

Illicit drug use imposes a heavy economic and social burden on society in general, and Rhode Island in particular. A recent study by the National Drug Intelligence Center found that the total cost of illicit drug use in the United States in 2007 was $193 billion — from increased crime ($113 billion), declining health ($11 billion), and lost productivity ($68 billion).37 For the Ocean State, among the many benefits of tackling this problem would be the improved productivity of the state’s existing labor force. 

Another way to reduce Rhode Island’s high rate of illicit drug use is to reduce prison time for drug users. America’s prison system is a revolving door of incarceration and recidivism for people who are addicted to illicit drugs and/or subjected to their ill effects. 

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