San Joaquin Supervisors Vote To Reduce Substance Abuse Services Funding
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors last week voted 3-2 to reduce county-run drug rehabilitation services -- including methadone treatment, outpatient care and residential treatment centers -- the Tri-Valley Herald reports.
Ken Cohen, director of the county's health services, said that the county Department of Substance Abuse Services has incurred deficits since 2000, and the program could lose another $2.35 million by October if the county continues to manage the services. Cohen told the board that increased administrative costs, reduced CalWORKS funding and smaller Medi-Cal and Medicare reimbursements have required the department to limit full-scale operations.
Under the new plan, the county will refer most clients to the private sector; reduce by 24 the number of SAS staff members; and combine residential treatment centers, residential drug programs and outpatient care. Management positions will be reduced by 50%, according to Cohen.
The county could save $775,000 by consolidating and limiting methadone services and $316,000 by reducing management positions.
Cohen said that San Joaquin County will rank higher than most other counties in the state in providing substance abuse treatment even after the consolidation takes effect (Mahler, Tri-Valley Herald, 5/19).