The US state where meth addicts are being PAID to get sober - as part of $60m ... trends now

The US state where meth addicts are being PAID to get sober - as part of $60m ... trends now

Meth addicts are being paid to get clean in drug-riddled California as part of an experimental new program.

Participants are required to provide a negative urine sample to prove they are not using meth or crack cocaine, and they are given up to $26.50 in return per test.

But in a potential loophole, the samples are allowed to come back positive for other kinds of drugs, including opioids like fentanyl and heroin.

The taxpayer-funded project is being run in 19 counties across California and around 2,700 drug addicts have enrolled so far.

The above graph shows how drug overdose deaths have risen since 2002, shooting to a record high in 2022

The above graph shows how drug overdose deaths have risen since 2002, shooting to a record high in 2022

A determined sheriff’s deputy compiled these shocking before and after mugshots back in 2004 to show how meth ravages the appearance of addicts in a bid to deter people away from the drug

A determined sheriff’s deputy compiled these shocking before and after mugshots back in 2004 to show how meth ravages the appearance of addicts in a bid to deter people away from the drug

It is being funded through Medi-Cal, the state's taxpayer-funded program for low-income people, and California is expected to allocate $61million towards it. 

Runners of the program admitted they were initially skeptical of the multimillion-dollar price tag for such an experimental program.

'You're talking about a lot of money,' John Duff, lead program director at Common Goals, an outpatient drug and alcohol counseling center in Grass Valley in Nevada County, told the LA Times. 'It was a hard sell.'

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The program comes in response to one of the worst drug crises in America. Deaths related to cocaine, meth and other stimulants have skyrocketed across in the past decade.

In 2021, there were nearly 6,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in California, compared to a total of 80,401 in the US.

In just three years, between 2019 and 2021, California's opioid-related deaths spiked 121 percent, according to the state's health department. The vast majority of these deaths were linked to fentanyl.

In 2021, 65 percent of drug-related overdose deaths involved stimulants, compared to 22 percent in 2011.

In California's Sierra Nevada, users say they can get their hands on meth almost as easily as beer or weed.

Quinn Coburn is one of the people enrolled on the new program, having used meth for the majority of adulthood.

He has been in jail five times for dealing marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin.

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