Recovering addicts say lawmakers plan to provide help would not have worked

DENVER -- Colorado lawmakers killed a plan that would have created spaces for drug addicts to legally shoot up illegal drugs, but even before the bill was “postponed indefinitely” by a legislative committee, recovering addicts were telling Denver7 that the plan would not have accomplished what it was designed to do.

“I think there’s a better outlet,” Daniel Petruska, a former addict who now operates 180 Ministries and Teen Challenge of the Rockies, told Anne Trujillo on this weekend’s Politics Unplugged. “I think about being a former heroin user and how many times I had to use heroin in a day, would I be driving from Aurora to Denver 6-7-8 times a day if I was a heroin addict? Probably not.”

Petruska says better than giving users a place where they can shoot up, would be to give them a stipend to use to get treatment for their addiction at a center of their choosing.

“There are times when you are out there and you know you need help,” added Jason Espinoza who has been through the program. “You know there’s something out there for you and you’re just not sure how to get it, so I think there should be places for these guys to go and seek counsel as opposed to finding a place to continue their addiction.”

David Bessey says most addicts won’t seek help until they rock bottom, and that’s different for everyone.

“The help really starts with the addict themselves in saying, ‘I’m ready to change. I’m ready to get my life on track and I want to start getting clean,’” he told Anne Trujillo.

Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Denver7.

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