Rep. Jim Moran (D) visited the Phoenix House at 521 N. Quincy Street last week to highlight the nonprofit’s addiction recovery and job training work.
The Ballston-area facility is one of numerous Phoenix House-branded treatment centers in 10 states across the country. It offers intensive residential substance abuse treatment programs for men, women, and teens, along with counseling and job training programs. The facility serves more than 900 adolescents and adults annually, and more than 150 on any given day.
Last Wednesday, Moran toured the Phoenix House and talked with some of the individuals who have been utilizing its services. Moran said their battles with addiction, and their struggles finding jobs after recovery, demonstrate why programs like Phoenix House are important for society.
“That’s why I’m here, to make the case for why we should support programs like Phoenix House,” Moran said. “We have to show people this this works, and then we need to replicate it across the country.”
Moran said he was struck by how one bad life decision could eventually lead down a path to addiction.
“There but for the grace of God go I,” he told the small assembled group of treatment center clients.
According to statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse cited by Moran, every dollar invested in an addiction treatment program yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. When health care costs are added in, the savings can exceed 12 to 1, according to Moran’s office.
Moran, who directed $250,000 in federal funding for a vocational training program at Phoenix House in fiscal year 2010, promised to work to help get more funding — even though, he said, securing such funding has become more difficult as a result of the defacto ban on earmarks in the House of Representatives.
Moran’s visit was part of his event series, “Investing in Northern Virginia: Building our Community through Smart Federal Spending.”