Lawmakers hear about alternative to incarceration for opiate addicts

Supporters of a pilot program in Santa Fe that takes a different approach to dealing with those addicted to opiates, including heroin, than incarceration spoke to legislators on Tuesday. The supporters are looking for $200,000 in funding for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD, program which is modeled after a program in Seattle that has shown success in dealing with those addicted to opioids. A previous $200,000 funding request was vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez. The Courts, Corrections & Justice Interim Committee hearing took place on Tuesday. Emily Kaltenbach, the state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, explained that the program “redirects people who have probable cause for arrest for low-level drug offenses” to a more treatment-based program.