We've seen it grow rapidly during COVID, but the problem has been there before. The pandemic just exposed and sped it up.


Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond posted information via the Department's social media platforms (Facebook) and released other information indicating our region's mental health and drug use issues are reaching crisis level.

Part of his statement read as follows:

"...it is time to implement a comprehensive public health system to address mental illness, homelessness, and drug addiction problems which are on the rise in our bi-county region. 

 We can no longer afford to sit back and let this crisis continue to develop into a public safety issue. The Tri-Cities has NO social detox and limited bed space and services to address the ever-increasing community safety matters we are facing."


The Franklin County Board of Commissioners will meet Thursday night to hear various presentations from area officials and groups about these growing issues, also to hear input from the community. They also want to lay out plans on how to deal with it,

With new restrictions being forced on Law Enforcement by the legislature, it's even harder now for Police and Deputies to protect citizens and deal with offenders, especially if they're fueled by drugs or other issues.

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Back in November, Benton County Commissioners passed a new sales tax which will go into effect in 2022 in the summer, to help fund a similar effort, to create a mental health crisis center and more mental health treatment programs.

Back in 2014, voters approved the passing of a Public Safety Tax in Benton County, but it was to fund more police, judges, and help expand drug and mental health courts. It did not, however, have any programs dealing with mental health or drug treatment issues.

  The Franklin County Commissioners, again, will meet  Tuesday, December 7th, 7 PM at the HAPO Center at TRAC.


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