Funds Approved For Operation UNITE

Included in the FY09 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, $600,000 is set-aside for the Operation UNITE voucher program which helps makes drug treatment programs affordable to low-income fifth district residents.

In addition, $550,000 will fund Operation UNITE substance abuse counselors in schools throughout southern and eastern Kentucky.

"Operation UNITE has led the way in helping our loved ones, friends and neighbors kick drug addiction and these funds will help continue these impressive efforts," stated Rogers. "If someone is serious about getting off drugs and turning his or her life around, Operation UNITE, in concert with area churches, drug programs, school counselors, and health care professionals, is there every step of the way."

Operation UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education, serves 29 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky.

The region-wide program has three main tasks: creating regional drug task forces for interdiction, confiscation and undercover operations; organizing local citizens' groups and coordinating drug treatment programs; and working with educators to expand drug awareness and education programs in local schools.

With this funding, Rogers has directed over $42 million for UNITE.

To date, UNITE detectives have confiscated over $8 million worth of drugs off the street, including more than 73,300 prescription pills, nearly 20 pounds of cocaine, and over 11 pounds of methamphetamine.

Their efforts have led to the arrests of 2,550 drug dealers and a 98% conviction rate.

Operation UNITE also provides non-violent offenders and those grappling with addiction with a second chance-over 1,590 non-violent offenders have participated in UNITE drug court programs, and more than 1,170 individuals have received vouchers for treatment.

Finally, Operation UNITE continues to educate our youth about the dangers of drug abuse; to date, 64,595 counseling sessions have taken place with UNITE substance abuse counselors.

For more information on UNITE, visit www.operationunite.org or call 866-678-6483.>


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