Frequent substance abusers are costing Sonoma County millions of dollars every year. So a coalition of service providers is examining alternatives to get better results through alternative programs.
San Diego's Serial Inebriates Program was launched in 1999, says Deni McLagan, that city's Mental Health Services Program Manager. And it was a police officer, John Leining, who first pushed for a new approach to the problem of chronic public drunkenness, when dispatcher calls to pick up the same individuals over and over had become a large part of his regular patrol shifts.
Now, with nearly 15 years of experience, McLagan says they have found that while not everyone is eager to go into the city-sponsored detox program, most eventually recognize the need for it.