Bill aims to fight meth addiction by offering financial incentives

A new bill hopes to alleviate meth addiction in California.

Posted: Feb 27, 2020 6:45 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2020 9:08 AM

REDDING, Calif. - A new bill hopes to alleviate meth addiction in California.

San Francisco Senator Scott Wiener introduced this bill hoping to combat the growing meth addiction in California. Senate Bill 888 would give cash rewards to meth addicts who are able to stay clean and sober. But meth addiction can target anyone.

“It encompasses all socioeconomic backgrounds it doesn't matter,” said Dwayne Dore, a substance counselor with Groups Recovery.

But experts say, there are still too many factors to consider.

“Is their family or support group stable, do they have a job, are they living in a place that's going to support their recovery process,” said Dore.

According to the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency, in 2018 there were 24 meth-related deaths. While in 2019, there 17 meth-related deaths, which is a 29% decrease.

In Tehama County, health officials say 33% of their clients reported meth as their drug of choice. An additional 38% said it was their secondary drug. But health experts believe the bill is a short-term solution.

“I think that incentive might in the moment, get them to be able to stay clean and sober, but I don’t think it's a long term solution,” said Marcella Johnson, a substance abuse counselor.

Johnson added, “I think people will tend to fall back in old patterns of behavior.”

Experts say, it takes more than money to fight meth addiction.

“I don’t think you can just throw money at someone who's suffered from a meth disorder and say this is the incentive,” said Dore.

Action News Now spoke with people in Redding, and they believe it isn’t a good idea to give money as a reward.

“They could also take that money and buy drugs as well, especially with how addictive drugs are,” said Redding resident Emory Harrison.

Experts say, there’s no medication for meth addiction. They say the best way to fight the addiction is through behavior therapy.

Money for the incentives would come through MediCal and extend into contingency services.

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