Eastern Shore Counties Hard Hit by Economic Impact of Substance Abuse

Dr. Memo Diriker, director of Salisbury University’s Business Economic and Community Outreach Network, briefed the Cecil County Board of Health on the economic costs of substance abuse to Cecil County and other counties on the Eastern Shore. As reported in The Cecil Whig:

Dr. Memo Diriker and his assistant director, Sarah Bunch, briefed county officials from the Cecil County Board of Health on Tuesday with the results of a study completed last fall by graduate students affiliated with the Salisbury’s Franklin Perdue School of Business.

The study concluded that illicit drug and alcohol use cost the nine Eastern Shore counties a total of $831 million in crime-related expenses, health care costs and loss of productivity in the workforce in 2013.

“Cecil County’s costs are higher than all Eastern Shore counties,” Diriker said, attributing much of that to its higher population and proximity to urban areas.

One part of the study showed that drug-related crimes cost the criminal justice system in Cecil County $10.2 million in fiscal year 2013. The total cost for all nine counties was $43 million.

“It’s our belief that this problem will get worse before it gets better,” Diriker said, calling it an “uphill climb.”

For more information read the full article in The Cecil Whig.