Utah’s Governor starts a drug court push for meth addicted mothers and proposes significant investment in treatment:
Despite efforts to combat it, Utah’s meth problem continues to grow – especially for women.
For five years, meth has been the top illegal drug of choice for Utahns entering public treatment. For women it surpasses even alcohol, the traditional front-runner, making it the only drug in history to have its female users outnumber males. Nearly half the women in treatment statewide have children.
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. has proposed investing $2 million in Utah’s drug courts and $2.5 million to build two residential clinics in northern and southern Utah to treat 600 women, giving priority to those involved with the child welfare system. But Huntsman will have to convince lawmakers it’s a wise investment, no easy task considering the stigma attached to addiction and a dearth of data on treatment, including how patients and drug court graduates fare over the longer term.
Helping Utah’s women poses another challenge: transforming a system that wasn’t built for them.
“Substance abuse treatment has been historically geared for white, middle-aged male alcoholics,” said Salt Lake County substance abuse Director Patrick Fleming. “We’re a hell of a lot better at treating women than 10 years ago, but there’s room for improvement.”
I’d challenge the “dearth of data” statement. We have a lot of data on the effectiveness of treatment and drug courts.