SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Looking to address the ongoing meth crisis in the Bay Area and California, a proposal by State Sen. Scott Wiener would offer financial rewards to users who stay sober.
Wiener (D-San Francisco), introduced Senate Bill 888, which would authorize Medi-Cal to fund cash rewards to participants who test clean and stay in recovery. The practice, known as contingency management, was billed by Wiener as the most effective treatment for methamphetamine addiction.
The senator cited a program by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation where LGBTQ men who used meth were given gift cards for staying sober, and 63 percent of participants stopped using the drug entirely after one year. Another 19 percent reduced their meth use.
“We need to employ every possible tool to help people recover from this powerful addiction,” Wiener said in a statement. “Contingency management is an effective and essential tool in treating meth addiction – particularly given the lack of effective medical interventions – and we must expand access to it.”
Meth overdoses in San Francisco have gone up a staggering 500 percent since 2008, according to the city’s Department of Public Health. Usage has risen all over California, the senator’s office said, with meth addiction having an outsized impact on the LGBTQ and the African-American communities.
It is unclear when SB888 would face its first meeting in the legislature.