Drug/alcohol rehab pilot program legislation introduced

Ponca City Now - January 21, 2020 2:24 pm

State Rep. Forrest Bennett

OKLAHOMA CITY — State Rep. Forrest Bennett (D-OKC) introduced legislation for the second half of the 57th Legislative Session that seeks to offer additional support in the fight against drug and alcohol addiction.

House Bill 2990 would establish a pilot program through the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health to open drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in the three Oklahoma counties with the highest rates for opioid overdose.

“For my lifetime and more, we have thrown millions of dollars away incarcerating people with a drug problem,” Bennett said. “As we continue down the road of criminal justice reform, we should supplement policy changes with an investment into the mental health of our citizens.”

Roughly 88,000 people die per year due to alcohol in the United States, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In Oklahoma, more than 750 people die per year from a drug overdose.

“The effects of these deaths aren’t just felt by the individual,” Bennett said. “They are felt by the families. They are felt by our communities. This pilot program is an opportunity for the state to roll up its sleeves and meet our citizens directly at the point of need.”

Oklahomans wanting to voice their opinion about this legislation are encouraged to call (405) 557-7404 or email [email protected].


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