Sober living homes open, help recovering addicts

MURRAY, Utah (News4Utah) - Destiny Garcia was arrested during Operation: Rio Grande, which netted hundreds of drug addicts and dealers. Now, nearly 6 months after she was arrested, she is drug-free. 

"I am so proud of my arrest," said Garcia in a news conference with Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and House Speaker Greg Hughes. "Without it, I would not be clean."

Garcia had to undergo a community residential treatment program at Odyssey House. Now, she's the first recipient of the Sober Living Housing Voucher Program, which will provide her with three months of housing and the opportunity to look for work, as well as continue her recovery efforts with others like her. 

Sober Living Homes are being created throughout the valley. Garcia will spend three months at a home in Murray, with other women who also have struggled with addiction. 150 people will be housed in the new program. 

"This is the continuity of where we started at Operation Rio Grande," said Greg Hughes (R-Draper). "This sober living facility is incredibly important."

Individuals are eligible for the voucher program if they complete a community residential treatment program, graduate from a drug treatment program through the Salt Lake County Jail, or actively participate in the Operation Rio Grande drug court program. 

The three-month voucher pays up to $2,000. 

Chris Wheeler, who used to spend many of his days at Rio Grande trying to score heroin, said he's now six months clean, thanks to the efforts of the operation and the Sober Living Home Program.

Wheeler said getting drugs at Rio Grande was as easy as getting a fast-food meal. 

Now, because of cleanup efforts, Wheeler said it's been easier to get clean. 

There are currently 7 participating sober living home providers, with more about to be in operation. 

So far, 14 clients have been placed in a housing facility. 


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