Assemblywoman complains state has done enough drug use studies

After one lawmaker complained Nevada doesn't need another half-million dollar study to confirm drug-use problems, the Interim Finance Committee deferred action on a proposal until its next meeting.

The issue was raised by Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, who questioned why the state should spend $478,000 in federal grants on a statewide alcohol and drug assessment.

"Didn't we just do this in June of 1998?" she asked Health Division spokesman Alex Haartz. "How many studies do we need to know that we need more treatment?"

Leslie suggested the money be put into treatment programs instead of another study.

Haartz confirmed that the state has done four such studies in the past few years but said he doesn't know if the federal grant can be used for programs.

"Well, I really have a problem spending half a million dollars more on something we already know is a problem," she said.

Leslie said she wants to know what the other studies have shown, whether this study would offer anything new and if the money can be used for programs or something else.

She suggested that, if the state can't spend the money on treatment, maybe the grants can be used for a study to evaluate existing programs in Nevada to see which are most effective.

Health officials were asked to get together with legislative staff to work out a report for IFC by the next meeting. IFC meets about every 45 days to handle state financial matters and appropriations when the Legislature itself is not in session.


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