Fight to Save Public Funding for Methadone in California

Methadone maintenance is on the budgetary chopping block in California, but supporters — including some prominent law-enforcement officials — are trying to get $53 million in funding restored to the state budget.

A plan to eliminate Medi-Cal funding for methadone maintenance is “tantamount to destroying the lives of 35,000 people, as well as having them return to addiction,” according to a column by Lee Baca and Charlie Beck — the sheriff of Los Angeles County and L.A.’s police chief, respectively. The pair note that cutting the funding will actually result in a double loss as federal matching funds will be forfeited.

“The choice is either to pay a sensible amount now or continue to pay a spiraling, unreasonable amount in the future,” Baca and Beck wrote. Advocates for methadone treatment have rallied around a group called Save Medi-Cal Treatment.

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