Getting addicted to drugs can be very easy as long as the person let it happen. But when the realization kicks in and the effects of drugs are experienced, overcoming it can very challenging. Especially for those who are in jail because of drug addiction, the problem does not end with them being caught and put in jail. But they still have to fully recover.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners made a major step to change that during its meeting Tuesday by implementing substance abuse-specific counseling services for the first time at the Routt County Jail. Craig Thornhill, a licensed professional counselor, and addiction counselor will spearhead the initiative. He has been providing the same service to Moffat County inmates and has seen a major improvement in addiction treatment as well as lower rates of recidivism.
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The new therapy program allocates about $19,000, funded by a state-awarded grant as part of Colorado’s Jail Based Behavioral Services program, to pay for Thornhill’s services.
Thornhill has more than 15 years of counseling under his belt, including more than 10 years with Mind Springs Health in Steamboat Springs and Craig.
When he introduced substance use counseling at the Moffat County Jail about two years ago, he saw a frightening reality among inmates with addiction.
About 50 inmates come through the detention center each year, according to Thornhill, many on nonviolent charges with some degree of substance use. Jailers would book them into a cell, where they eventually would suffer from drug withdrawals.