Utah is facing a dangerous epidemic that is claiming thousands of lives every year, tearing apart families, and costing taxpayers millions of dollars – the Opioid Epidemic.
I have served at the county jail for 7 years as a volunteer clergy and it has been some of the most challenging and most rewarding work I have ever done. I have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects not just to those abusing substances, but to their families and surrounding communities. I see these men, young and old, from all walks of life who have had their lives literally ripped away from them because they are prisoners of their addictions. Some are able to get treatment and live productive, full lives and some do not. More often than not it seems that once they get out and try to reenter society that they fall right back into old habits landing them right back where they started. I am dedicated to helping those suffering from addiction, both as a volunteer at the jail, and as a State Legislator.
I have supported legislation that increases funding and services to addiction recovery services. These services are highly specialized and vital to not just overcoming addiction but also to the survival of these afflicted individuals. Addictions don’t just hurt the person using them, it significantly impacts their families and also burdens our public health resources. It is critical that our state fund effective wrap-around services to help addicts through lifelong recovery and preventative programs for youth. I pledge to continue to champion this effort.
I’m honored to have received the Governor’s Award on Addiction Recovery Services and the Champion for Recovery Award. I also serve on the Salt Lake County Criminal Justice Advisory Council, working collaboratively with elected officials across the county to coordinate better recovery services.
It seems like no family, regardless of income or social status, is immune from the pain this epidemic causes. If you or someone you know is suffering with addiction, please seek help!
You can reach me at 801.840.1800 or email me at ElectDunnigan@gmail.com.
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