Griffey introduces bill to help individuals with substance use disorder

Rep. Dan Griffey joined with several House Republicans on Tuesday in introducing a package of bills designed to protect public safety while helping those suffering from substance abuse.

The five Republican bills were in response to the recent state Supreme Court decision (State v. Blake) that ruled the state's simple possession drug law unconstitutional.

House Bill 1558 would promote recovery and improve public safety by providing behavioral health system responses to individuals with substance use disorder.

“There's no question that we need to find a way to help those who suffer from substance abuse,” said Griffey, R-Allyn. “There are too many people sitting in prison who are not getting the help they need. At the same time, we can't allow our communities to be overrun by drugs, which would put our public safety at risk.”

House Bill 1558 would also provide training to law enforcement personnel to improve their interaction with individuals that suffer from substance use disorder.

The training would consist of classroom or internet instruction and would include replication of likely field situations to the maximum extent possible. The training would also cover proper procedures for referring persons to treatment and supportive services.

“This legislation would help our law enforcement officers understand the best way to handle individuals dealing with this disorder and other behavioral health issues,” added Griffey. “I also want to recognize my colleague Rep. Lauren Davis, D-Shoreline, for the significant work she has done on this issue. I implemented many of her ideas to develop the framework for this bill. Its's truly a win-win for everyone involved in the effort to fight substance abuse, while maintaining public safety and order.”

The bill now awaits to be assigned to a House committee and receive a hearing.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov