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Grant to Aid Drug Abuse and Mental Health Treatment

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December 8, 2010

Adult drug court participants in central San Diego County will have a better chance to overcome their addictions and mental health disorders thanks to a new grant from the federal government.

For the next three years, the County’s Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) will receive $325,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The funds will be used to establish the Adult Drug Court Enhanced Program, which will provide intensive case management, mental health services and support services to drug court participants in the central region of the county.

Video: Drug Court Graduation

“These enhanced services will increase the likelihood that participants stay and complete their drug treatment program and help them lead clean and sober lives,” said Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price, San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

The federal funds will benefit adult drug court participants, especially those who also suffer from a mental health disorder. About 75 clients will be enrolled in the Jump Start Program each of the three years and receive supportive services, including intensive case management for the first 90 days, to make sure the client receives access to all of the services they need to be successful in the program.  Of the 75 clients, 20 who also exhibit mental health issues will be enrolled in the Dual Recovery Track and obtain services specifically tailored for offenders with co-occurring disorders. Graduates of the Drug Court Program will serve as peer mentors for new clients and provide them activities to support their recovery.

The central drug court was selected because participants in this region have higher rates of homelessness, unemployment and mental disorders.

“Drug courts reduce crime and improve the lives of individuals who suffer from drug addiction,” said Nick Macchione, HHSA Director.  “This program will help clients lead drug-free lives and become productive members of society.”

Established in 1997, the San Diego County Drug Courts use a collaborative approach to treating substance abuse while improving public safety. By increasing direct supervision of offenders, drug courts help break the cycle of criminal behavior, alcohol and drug use, and incarceration. Since their inception, San Diego County’s four adult Drug Courts have graduated more than 2,000 people.

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