This research brief describes work documented in Review and Evaluation of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Block Grant Allotment Formula (MR-533-HHS/DPRC).

Excerpt: Each year, the federal government distributes block grants totaling $1.2 billion to the states for substance abuse services, representing roughly one-quarter of the total state expenditures on publicly funded services. Throughout the history of this program, begun in 1981, Congress has debated the most equitable way to distribute these allocations among states. A new RAND study reports that the adoption of empirically derived measures of the need for services and refined measures of their costs would substantially shift block grant funds for substance abuse to smaller, more rural states.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research brief series. RAND research briefs present policy-oriented summaries of individual published, peer-reviewed documents or of a body of published work.

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