While the entire nation is battling the opioid epidemic, Kitsap County still battles its own methamphetamine epidemic. For years, Washington has been the state with the highest number of meth lab busts. According to a community survey conducted in 2002, drug abuse was the number one concern of residents residing in Kitsap County. But, the local government is doing what they can to address this issue in any way they can. They have seen some positive response.
Reduction in Meth Lab Busts
While there are still meth manufacturers in Kitsap County, the number of busts has been declining since 2003. This is largely due to a law enforcement bust of one of the biggest drug cartels in the area. In addition, they have included “meth action teams”. This is an initiative of the state that uses government funding to boost police efforts and put meth manufacturers in prison. The result? The number of meth manufacturers is in decline and meth prices are skyrocketing. But the number of individuals seeking treatment remains the same.
State Initiatives to Reduce Meth Use
Along with expanding the task force to specify drug treatment task forces and pinpoint meth manufacturers, the local government has come up with a few other initiatives. The goal of these programs is to help individuals gain recovery, rather than perpetuate the cycle of addiction and, in turn, the epidemic itself. Some of the state-run meth epidemic initiatives for Kitsap County include:
Community Outreach: The state has allocated $35 thousand to resources intended to spread awareness of the meth epidemic to residents and their affected families.
Crisis Triage Center: Most people who need help for meth addiction end up in the emergency room. And, when this happens, they don’t get the help they need with treatment. To combat this issue, the crisis triage center provides a bed and treatment for affected individuals.
Family Drug Court: Those who go to prison due to addiction rarely get the chance to regain custody of children and end up relapsing due to their circumstances. So, this program gives these individuals the opportunity to gain visits or even regain custody of children.
Treatment: This program works to reduce drug sentences and re-allocate the money that would have been spent housing an inmate into treatment.