Funding debate illustrates problem finding solutions | TheUnion.com
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Funding debate illustrates problem finding solutions

Nevada County Supervisor Robin Sutherland expressed some frustration earlier this week when three of her colleagues opposed her motion for an additional $45,000 for the Prop. 36 program.

She said the money was needed so those convicted of drug crimes would get a 90-day rehabilitation rather than just 60 days. Supervisor Nate Beason, who opposed the request, said Friday that the county has already approved spending $122,000 for the program this year, which comes on top of the $360,000 the state provided.

The drug, of course, that is at the root of the problem is methamphetamine. It takes extended inpatient care to treat people who are addicted to this drug and that makes it an expensive problem.



Beason is the new chairman of the Nevada County Substance Abuse Advisory Board. In this role, he wants to identify all the resources in the county that can be used in this battle against meth abuse and addiction that riddles our county.

Examples of others looking at the problem abound.




This year’s United Way campaign is focused on funneling resources toward groups that are battling the meth problem. The Women’s Town Hall on Meth has developed an action plan and is working on a resource guide. The Grand Jury has called it an epidemic while outlining a long list of costs, both social and financial, that come with this problem.

It’s abundantly clear that we can’t expect government to cover all of the costs associated with meth use. The total costs associated with just the Prop. 36 program is around $475,000 in this fiscal year. This likely just represents a fraction of the costs when you look at court time, jail time, lost wages and broken families.

There’s no simple or cost-efficient way to reduce the impact of meth use in our community. Beason’s goal of identifying all the resources is an important step in developing a comprehensive strategy. But it’s only a step in what’s going to be a long journey.


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