Nevada County needs more funds to treat drug addicts | SierraSun.com

Nevada County needs more funds to treat drug addicts

Greg Moberly
Sun News Service

NEVADA CITY ” Nevada County needs nearly $20,000 more to help drug addicts receive longer lengths of treatment through the county’s drug court program, said Doug Carver, the county’s chief probation officer.

On Tuesday, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors will likely approve a more costly contract with Rocklin Community Counseling Center to treat a rise in addicts with longer-care needs.

Funds to increase the contract to $44,590 from $24,990 come from the state’s drug court program, which remains controversial.

“The addiction is more entrenched for these people,” Carver said Sunday, explaining the need to spend more money. The Rocklin center can treat Nevada County’s drug court clients for up to eight months, he said.

Nevada County contracts with two other drug treatment facilities, South Placer Recovery Home in Auburn and Progress House in Nevada City.

About 17 local residents are being treated through the county’s drug court system, Carver said. Five of them are being treated at the Rocklin center, he said.

South Placer Recovery Home also offers similar long-treatment terms, but the county uses the Rocklin center more often, Carver said. Progress House offers 90-day stays, he said.

“We’re saving prison beds this way,” Carver said.

Drug courts are a collaborative effort between the Probation Department, county court, Public Defender’s Office, District Attorney’s Office and the Behavioral Health Department.

More than 2,000 drug courts are in existence or planned nationwide, according to the National Drug Court Institute.

Drug courts, a relatively young judicial program, remain controversial.

Proponents argue they reduce the chances of a relapse and are less costly than locking up an offender. Critics question the so-called recidivism rates, quality of the screening process and cost benefits – worrying about a “revolving door” of offenders.

The contract increase is on the supervisors’ consent agenda, meant for items to be approved with no discussion. Since the increase is an amendment to a county contract, supervisors need to approve the change, Carver said.