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Could Tax Increases Reduce Need for Addiction Help?

A bill in Massachusetts proposes to increase the taxes on things like non-nutritious snacks, sugared drinks, alcohol, tobacco and similar products. They’re trying to make money so they can avoid further budget cuts. What does this have to do with drug rehab and addiction help? A lot, actually.

I believe one of the reasons people are driven to drugs is because they are basically unhealthy. They’re eating junk food, for example, which doesn’t supply any nutrients and actually causes the body to deteriorate. And can make them sick. 

Even if they don’t actually get ‘sick’, they’re not going to have the physical or mental energy and stamina needed to think clearly, be motivated or feel good about themselves.

Will that drive them to drugs? Absolutely. College kids using amphetamines to focus during exams might not be having such a hard time if they had a good diet, exercised, got enough sleep, and so on, as a regular routine. But instead of being diligent about their physical health, which affects their mental health and acuity, they often live on junk food and beer until a couple of weeks before exam time then take drugs to help them make up for the damage caused by those earlier bad habits.

But it’s not only college kids who are affected. Generally speaking, people who are in really good health feel better about themselves and do better in life. When confronted with life’s problems, they’re in a much better position to deal with them. And, consequently, don’t turn to drugs or alcohol as a solution.

The increase in taxes in MA will hopefully deter such behavior, and people will be better off for it. They’re less likely to end up on drugs and less likely to need addiction help services.

That, in turn, will probably save the state millions of dollars in drug addiction or drug abuse related health care costs, law enforcement, prisons, and so on.

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