City Government

Detox Deal Done, Despite Dollar Drain

There is no doubt about the need for a detox center in Boise so the coppers can take people someplace besides the Emergency Room or the slammer to sober up.

There was a lot of fanfare about an agreement and possible 2010 opening for a joint city, county, state facility known as “Substance Abuse and Mental Health Crisis Center.” The GUARDIAN hereby dubs it “SAM-HIC.”

SAM-HIC was a long time coming, mostly because the state of Idaho refused to step up and obey the law passed by the legislature designating the Department of Health and Welfare as the agency to treat drug, alcohol and mental health issues.

Idaho H&W got spanked by an audit team for inaction, but the lawmakers never gave them the cash to do the deal. Team Dave has led the charge of late after Sheriff Gary Raney stumbled a bit trying to bring key players to the table–at the Arid Club.

Even now we note the facility will be owned by the Boise/Ada Housing Authority (the GUARDIAN hereby christens it “BA-HA”) which will use funds from Boise, Ada County, State of Idaho, Eagle, and Meridian. The joint agreement calls for $2.7 million in the pot and an annual operating cost of $1.8
million. It SHOULD be paid for by the state of Idaho.

Garden City and Star, home to at least as many drunks, druggies, and mental cases per capita as the rest of Ada county refused to contribute. No doubt they will have the same access–without paying–as the others.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Without a doubt this kind of facility has been long needed, this isn’t Mayberry where Otis just checked himself in for the night, we have a real problem here that the legislature acknowledged but did nothing of real value to address it. I’m glad to see the county and city moving forward towards the public good and maybe using the state legislation, and lack of funding, as grounds for reimbursement.

  2. What to do? Put them in jail or prison or do we try to provide a second chance at a decent life.

    The legislature needs to fund detox and rehab as prison is the ultimate destination for people on drugs who commit crimes. It just takes a lot of local frequent flyer visits to the local jails to end up in prison.

    Most of these people recognize they are hooked but can’t seem to find a way out of the lifestyle. I personally know two people who did more than a decade of time in the Idaho Prison system. They got it together and are clean and sober. Just maybe this could have been done at a much lower cost to the taxpayers with a State rehab program. Ten years of lock up time for two non-violent people seems excessive.

    It is easy to say lock people up and throw the key away. Maturity and second chances at life need to be a reasoned option in certain instances it makes financial sense as well as a more humane approach to the problems of drug addiction.

  3. Great idea! Sorely needed! However, it doesn’t take a lot of money to draw a pretty picture. If it is OK with you, I will wait until I see the deposit slips from all these entities! Based on the prior relationships and agreements, I am sure you will understand my skepticism. (remember the city-county shooting range.)

  4. The recipients of the services, and/or their families, should be expected to pay for services rendered, whenever feasible. (Kinda like other forms of medical/mental health care.) The taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the entire bill to run the place. (Unless when I woke up this morning we all have an entitlement to free detox.) Call me hard-hearted. Or agree with me that taxpayers can’t fill every citizen’s every need.

    In these parts, we like our healthcare facilities named after saints. I propose “St. David’s SAM-HIC.”

  5. I agree with Bikeboy. Make them submit financials like for college loans. They can help pay based off a sliding scale. I would also add that a yearly audit of the third party running this joint should be mandatory.

  6. The Boise Picayune
    Dec 18, 2008, 5:52 pm

    More money is probably headed our way to help pay for this sort of thing…

  7. Tom Anderson
    Dec 19, 2008, 2:48 pm

    This will free up more room in our prisons for POLITICIANS.

  8. Bikeboy,

    You have some valid oints, but that model is failing the rest of healthcare, why do we need to set this up for failue too?

    Besides a simple look at a significant portion of these potential “clients” (or patients, or what ever PC name de jour) to see that is a dry rescource.

    And planning to fund it on money that simply isnt there is a losing proposition. In addition, how do you expect to get the information at the time of need.

    This isnt a facility like “celebrity rehab” on TV, this is NOT rehab… this is simply a medicaly monitored holding facility to mitigate risks of incarcerating those people while not overburdoning (and underneath that, spending even more $$) the hospitals in the area.
    Hopefully it will also be a method of introducing those same people into rescources forelevating their life to a better place…but if you look at other Detox centers success at this, that is a pipe dream.

    I’m not against it, Im ALL for it…but we need to be realistic on what it is, and what it isnt… and fund accordingly and realistically.

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