SMART Management, Inc. and SMART Software would like to recognize SMART’s partner Evergreen Treatment Services (ETS) for their contributions to the innovative Seattle based program Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD.
The nation-wide increase in drug use has inspired treatment professionals and law enforcement officials to create new ways to combat the growth of this issue and to find more beneficial ways to dedicate funds that are historically filtered through the prison system. For those involved in drug use and associated criminal activities there is a typical cycle; drug use -> illegal activities to finance drug use -> arrest -> jail. Due to the persistent nature of addiction the process often repeats itself over and over. Addicts frequently return to the same behavior after prison. An estimated 30-70k is spent detaining each individual for 1 year, without a solution to the problem. (1)
Officials in Seattle have joined forces to make a real difference in a “traditional” process. Established in 2011, the LEAD Program has helped to address the cycle. Often when drug users are arrested, the threat of jail simply is not enough to stop the behavior. The LEAD Program gives offenders the choice between the detainment cycle and the opportunity to meet with a counselor for an assessment. After the assessment, they may be referred to the following; enrollment in a drug treatment program, housing assistance, and/or educational opportunities. “…if the person chooses to take advantage of the LEAD program, the police calls the project lead at Evergreen Treatment Services (ETS) /REACH project. An ETS staff member will bring the individual to the REACH office treatment center…” (2) The hope is that these individuals will spend their time in the program recovering from their addiction and setting new life goals. These positive results are already being seen amongst participants thus far.
Molly Carney, Executive Director at Evergreen Treatment Services said, “The LEAD program is a terrific example of innovative thinking that can happen when you get public officials, police, prosecuting and defense attorneys, case managers and university program evaluation experts around the same table and focused on solving a problem that required an entirely new solution. By focusing on the intransigent common challenge and carefully developing the relationships between these entities, the LEAD Program has rightly earned national and international publicity with their early success.”
About Evergreen Treatment Services
“Evergreen Treatment Services is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which has been delivering evidence-based addiction treatment services in Western Washington since 1973. Since our founding, we have earned a nationwide reputation for excellence in our work. Our interdisciplinary team of professionals includes clinicians with advanced degrees in medicine, psychiatry, nursing, psychology, social work, and counseling.
ETS uses a comprehensive approach to treatment which combines medication assisted treatment with wrap-around services such as counseling, mental health care, and case management services.” (3)