Excerpt from April 15, 2019, Chicago Tribune editorial, in which TASC President Pam Rodriguez is cited:
“Plenty of options have been tried to curb the illegal use of opioids….One promising step deserves note. A new law took effect this year to promote efforts by law enforcement agencies to “deflect” people with substance abuse problems from the criminal justice system into treatment. Among the agencies involved are the Elk Grove Village and Arlington Heights police departments and the Will County sheriff.
“Pam Rodriguez, president of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, says the idea is that instead of arresting users or just reversing overdoses, law enforcement agents will endeavor to connect them to treatment that can end the cycle of drug use and overdoses. But the $500,000 in state money provided last year has yet to be renewed for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
“Getting the state’s budgetary affairs in order is essential to free up funds to make treatment more accessible to the people who need it. With a more rational budget, Illinois could afford to invest in preventing drug addiction and overdoses. It’s not just a matter of dollars and cents. It’s a matter of life and death.”
Read the full Chicago Tribune editorial.