GRANTS PASS, Ore. — In Josephine County, recovering addicts say getting caught with drugs doesn’t necessarily mean anything anymore.
The district attorney’s office is unable to prosecute low level crimes like possession of a controlled substance because they simply don’t have the resources to anymore. The county’s community corrections department says that means drug addicts are unable to seek treatment to recover.
Sarah Milens who is seeking treatment with the community corrections department spent some time in prison when she was caught with methamphetamine several times.
“It saved my life. I think without it, I’d be dead or just far out,” says Milens.
The community corrections department says if drug addicts are placed on probation, it gives them an opportunity to monitor their behavior and seek treatment. Probation officers are also seeing drug use rise among the younger generation and the lack of resources is feeding the problem.
“Large young people that are really going to go unchecked. It’s almost as if we’re decriminalizing drug abuse in Josephine County,” says community corrections director, Abe Huntley.
Josephine County commissioners put $500,000 toward public safety. Officials plan to meet next week to discuss how to spend those dollars.