Sobriety for dollars: California lawmakers move to pay meth addicts to stay clean

California lawmakers are closer to sending Gov. Gavin Newsom legislation that would offer money for people addicted to methamphetamines to stay in treatment.

Senate Bill 110 would make contingency management, a therapy centered around positive reinforcement, a legal form of treatment in California that would be paid for by Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program.

In the case of people suffering from meth addictions, they would be given incentives to attend treatment or pass drug tests.

Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) said in June that President Joe Biden’s administration is seeking evidence-based solutions to the nation’s drug crisis.

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San Francisco Homeless Camp Costs $60,000 Per Tent, Per Year

The news comes as San Francisco mulls renewing the program, which could cost about $57,000 per tent. There are currently about 260 tents, the report notes.

The city is paying “about twice the median cost of a one-bedroom apartment for each tent”, the report says. And the encampment is being funded by a 2018 business tax known as Proposition C. 

The city is expecting to spend more than $1 billion over the next two years on homelessness. Mayor Breed calls it a “historic investment,” according to the SF Chronicle

Supervisor Hillary Ronen said at a budget meeting: “It is a big deal to have showers and bathrooms, and I don’t dispute that. But the cost just doesn’t make any sense.”

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