The Wyoming House is considering a bill that would set up a program to test those who have been arrested for substance abuse misdemeanors at all hours of the day.
House Judiciary Chairman Keith Gingery says 24/7 sobriety programs like this are currently working in some select Wyoming counties and in other states. The bill funds a program where the substance abuser is tested regularly, sometimes twice a day, for drug or alcohol use. Gingery says not only will the legislation help people, it could reduce crime.
The 24/7 Sobriety Program Bill has passed general file in the Wyoming Senate.
The bill would create the option for people who have been arrested for substance abuse misdemeanors to be tested regularly for drug or alcohol use instead of staying in jail. If the offender fails to complete or pass a test, he or she would be arrested and appear in front of a judge.
The program would mainly be funded by fees paid up-front by the offenders themselves.
As it addressed issues concerning substance abuse, one thing the state never had were Wyoming specific numbers on the financial impact of substance abuse. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that a recent study has found that the cost of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse is staggering.
BOB BECK: This is the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center or WYSAC today people in the state are being asked about their tobacco use.
“And how old were you when you first smoked at least one cigarette every day for 30 days in a row? 16? All right…”
The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is honoring a youth program on the Wind River Reservation for its efforts to prevent substance abuse and the spread of HIV.
This is the first time a Native American group has received a Voices of Prevention award. The Wind River Tribal Youth Program offers a range of health and social programs to kids from the Northern Arapaho Tribe.
Executive Director Donna Trosper says substance abuse is a big problem among young people in the area.