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San Diego County Looks To Increase Addiction Treatment Spending

Hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills, also known as Vicodin, arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. in this undated image.
Toby Talbot AP
Hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills, also known as Vicodin, arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. in this undated image.

San Diego County is looking to triple spending on addiction treatment from $54.6 million to $179.6 million, officials announced Monday.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday is set to vote on a Substance Use Disorders Treatment Delivery System aimed at assisting low-income residents facing addiction in addressing the systemic damage the disease inflicts on them, their families and their communities.

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The move comes amid a rise in deaths attributed to addiction, which is closely linked to other mental illnesses and homelessness, county officials said at a news conference.

"We want to get people into drug treatment," Supervisor Ron Roberts said. "It's affecting our homeless; it's affecting, you know, our jail population; it's affecting people who are in treatment all over the county. We want to do a better job by having a comprehensive system."

The additional funding will expand the county's existing provider network of case managers, counselors and residential recovery facilities and increase the number of residents served.

Methamphetamine was the number-one cause of drug-related deaths in San Diego County and was at an all-time high in 2016, according to the medical examiner's office. Other leading factors in drug-related deaths were opiates, benzodiazepines and alcohol.

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