FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michael Norris, [email protected]
County Advancing New Strategies to Address Substance Use Disorder Crisis
Santa Clara County, Calif. – Santa Clara Board of Supervisors Vice President Susan Ellenberg, County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D., Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Chief Executive Operating Officer of Pathway Society, Gary Montrezza, Medical Director of the Santa Clara Valley Homeless Healthcare Program, Dr. Midit Gilotra, and other healthcare leaders held a press conference to update the public on the status of the substance use disorder crisis and to announce the County’s new treatment-focused strategies, including:
- Funding for an additional 15-20 detox beds that will serve 700 patients annually in Santa Clara County,
- Developing a contingency management therapy pilot program in partnership with the State of California, an innovative, evidence-based strategy for treatment of methamphetamine addiction, and
- Implementing new, streamlined processes for the Valley Homeless Healthcare Program physicians to directly connect patients to detox and residential treatment programs
These efforts and more are a further step in the county’s pursuit of treatment-oriented solutions for drug addiction and the subsequent homelessness and public safety risks that are directly and indirectly connected.
“The County is looking forward to leading the State in treatment-focused responses that prioritize compassion over punishment, and more effectively promote the health and safety of our communities.” said Vice President Ellenberg. “The County is mobilizing resources to increase the capacity of our mental health infrastructure and advance innovative solutions that the community has called for. Increased access to mental healthcare is at the root of not only the substance use crisis, but also homelessness and related challenges to our collective public safety.”
“Recovery from drug and alcohol issues can open the door to better health, relationships, and quality of life. Everyone in our community deserves the chance to find their way to recovery, especially the most vulnerable among us,” said David Mineta, President and Chief Executive Officer of Momentum for Health. “These new strategies are an important step toward creating a system where substance use and other behavioral health disorders are given the same priority and treatment as physical health conditions, which is the surest way we can expect to see real change.”
“This expansion of sobering services is not just adding detox beds. It is providing warm handoffs between critically important services to help individuals stabilize their lives,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D. “Our goal is to create a supportive environment to help those in crisis begin the recovery process. There are proven treatments available, and the County’s strength is our ability to connect residents to these myriad services in ways that work for their circumstances.”]
Recording of the press conference held at the Reentry Resource Center courtyard at 151 W. Mission St. in San Jose is available on Facebook (https://fb.watch/cDYg23Gww0/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SupEllenberg/status/1519001818214244352?s=20&t=5OOjIuInO7Fk_UcavF9Ppg).
District 4 includes the cities of Campbell and Santa Clara, the unincorporated pocket of Burbank, and West San Jose. For more information about Supervisor Ellenberg’s office, visit supervisorellenberg.com.