Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams will request the Utah legislature to provide more funding for drug treatment and rehabilitation services in the upcoming session.
Renaissance Ranch Outpatient, along with other known rehab facilities, noted that drug addiction treatment in Utah has further moved toward the right direction with Gov. Gary Herbert’s 2015 Justice Reinvestment Initiative. This involves other effective means of treating drug addiction, like gospel-focused programs.
Instead of jail time, McAdams believes that drug offenders who are not a threat to society belong to rehabilitation and treatment facilities, as these people are mentally ill and require a different kind of solution.
A Better Alternative
Gov. Herbert’s 2015 program helped offenders seek treatment as an alternative to being sent to prison, provided that they are non-violent drug offenders. The program also allowed the state to save on costs since imprisonment is expensive, aside from the fact that it won’t help addicts become clean and sober, according to McAdams.
That’s why he urged the state to allot more funds for rehabilitation services to combat addiction to drugs like opioid. Utah already allocated $30 million for drug treatment services and $70 million in federal funding is expected to be given in 2017.
Opioid overdose kills one person in the state on average each day due to overdose. The numbers are expected to dwindle as Unified Police will soon carry a drug called Naxolone in their patrols. The drug aims to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
The substance is non-addictive, which makes it a perfect antidote to a drug-related problem, according to Jennifer Plumb, Naloxone Program Medical Director at the University of Utah. Unified Police Sheriff Jim Winder said that the drug will help the police do their part in not just saving lives, but helping drug users to recover from their addiction.
Being under the influence of drugs doesn’t always mean that a user is a potential threat to the public. In fact, many have recovered successfully by staying in rehab facilities instead of jail.