Meth-Related Crimes Cost Taxpayers Thousands: SANDAG

Drug treatment outreach efforts could save San Diego County money

Methamphetamine-related crimes cost San Diego county taxpayers thousands of dollars but drug treatment outreach efforts could help save money, according to a SANDAG case study.

A Criminal Justice Flash report was released Wednesday by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division. It highlighted the impact of meth-related crime and the results of follow-up efforts to keeps offenders out of jail.

The case study focused on “Michael,” a meth user who cost taxpayers more $201,877 spanning over 30 years. SANDAG says Michael’s name was changed in the report to protect his identity.

According to the study, Michael was able to get treatment through a drug outreach effort known as Operation Tip the Scale.

The operation pairs law enforcement officers with drug treatment counsellors. They offer eligible, non-violent drug offenders the option to go into a treatment program instead of jail.

Operation Tip the Scale was first conducted in spring 2009. Since then, there have been 16 operations throughout the San Diego County.

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