What is LEAD? The LEAD Program is designed to create an alternative for individuals who have developed a problem with opioids and who are on a spiral. Before this program was implemented, those with small amounts of opiates and or paraphernalia were arrested and incarcerated. This meets the letter of the law, but is ultimately extremely expensive and is highly destructive to the lives of those caught in this process.
Through the LEAD program, these same individuals are given access to mental and physical health care, addiction treatment, and wrap-around case management. The cost is a fraction of that which would be incurred by incarceration and the program is designed to help people develop their potential instead of limiting their options for the rest of their lives.
Who is served? This program serves two populations. The first is the individual who otherwise could lose decades of their life, or literally die from overdose. These individuals come from a varied cross section of society and once they become dependent they face a downward spiral from mainstream to street.
The second benefactor of this program is the community. Dramatic cost savings allow for precious resources to be diverted from the unnecessary and wasteful to the critical and necessary. And, even more important, saving and re-directing lives to meaningful, constructive, and productive social advantage.
There is an epidemic of heroin use in New Mexico. This issue spans all socio-economic boundaries and is causing unparalleled loss of life due to overdose. For those lucky enough to not die from their drug use a future of criminal record, loss of self esteem, and an expectation of failure is likely.