Lawmaker Want To Pay Meth Users To Not Use Drugs
Sacramento, CA – A California state senator from San Francisco has proposed legislation that would have the state pay methamphetamine users to stay sober.
Democratic California State Senator Scott Weiner, who represents a city where meth usage has risen 500 percent since 2008, introduced Senate Bill 888 on Feb. 25 in what he called an attempt to combat meth usage and drug overdose deaths, KOVR reported.
Methamphetamine use is up in all of California, but the Bay Area has been particularly hard hit.
The proposed legislation would expand the number of treatment programs that qualify for Medi-Cal to include those that offer cash, vouchers, and gift card incentives to participants, according to KRON.
People who enroll in the incentive-style programs would be rewarded every time their urine drug tests came back clean.
“[SB 888] intends to make these programs accessible on a wider scale by authorizing them to be reimbursable by Medi-Cal,” Weiner said in a written statement, KRON reported.
Weiner pointed to a similar program that claims a high success rate for its participants as an example to follow.
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s Positive Reinforcement Opportunity Project rewards male LGBTQ meth users with gift cards if they stay sober, KOVR reported.
The foundation claimed that in the first year of operation, the program led to 63 percent of participants quitting the use of methamphetamine altogether.
Another 19 percent reduced their meth use over the course of the year, according to KOVR.
The treatment method whereby drug users are incentivized to stay sober is called contingency management, and there are a number of companies racing to facilitate its more common use, Xconomy reported.
Boston-based DynamiCare created an app that lets users take random drug tests and report the results, as well as check in at meetings using the GPS.
Rewards for clean drug tests and meeting attendance are put on a reloadable debit card that can be used for purchases pretty much anywhere except bars and liquor stores, Xconomy reported.