House bill to bring help to substance abusers

Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 5:46 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A new piece of legislation in the Arkansas House could bring help to those suffering from substance abuse.

House Bill 1460 was filed by Jonesboro Representative Dwight Tosh on Monday, Feb. 20.

The bill would authorize those with violent offenses to work as peer support specialists with individuals who are receiving substance abuse treatment.

Jumpstart Ministries of Walnut Ridge Administrative Director Chris Parris said this is already happening in some cases.

“I know we deal a lot with peer support specialists from all kinds of different backgrounds, and generally, they are people that have come from a substance abuse background themselves,” he said. “In the line of business we do, we found that most people that have violent offenses, there is a kind of substance abuse wrapped up in that.”

Parris said if the bill passes, it could be an opportunity for those with violent charges.

“I think it’s a potential job opportunity for people whose opportunities are limited based on their backgrounds, and it’s also an opportunity for people who come from a background to help people out of similar backgrounds get into a new life,” he said.