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Former Federal Drug Czar Advises Against Eliminating State Drug Treatment Funds



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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The Governor’s revised budget proposal would cut funding for drug treatment programs—saving the state 53-million dollars.  Rose Henderson from Stockton disagrees with that move. She says before treatment, she committed crimes to support her heroin habit.
I did everything but kill and prostitute. Drugs was my main priority, I had a child at an early age. She wasn’t important to me either. All I wanted to do was use drugs.”
Henderson along with drug treatment specialists lobbied lawmakers and the Governor to save the funding. Roughly half the money goes for methadone treatment—a synthetic alternative used to help heroin addicts get off the street drug. Barry McCaffrey is the former Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He says dropping money for methadone treatment for tens of thousands of former heroin addicts will mean far greater costs, largely due to increased crime.
 “The number we put on it, and I think it’s an objective number is a 700-million dollar crisis for California, never mind the the street crime, the prostitution, the AIDS transmission that’ll result…”
A budget sub-committee has rejected the proposal. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Governor’s Department of Finance says the proposed cuts shouldn’t be taken as a statement that the services aren’t valuable. But H.D. Palmer says with a 19 billion dollar budget deficit, the Governor has been forced to put such proposals on the table.
 
 
 
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