MORE NEEDED FOR PREVENTION
It is sad that Issue 7 failed since it would have offered funding for Job and Family Services.
Unfortunately, the richest 2 percent, including Congress and Trump, get millions in tax cuts. The only thing trickling down to the working classes is paying more in taxes for health care, gasoline and other products.
Now is the time for the richest to contribute their fair share for programs that help children and the elderly. Ironically, some churches wanting to help the sick, needy and homeless are accused of socialism.
The message that addiction is a disease, and those with addictions lack the ability to think coherently and therefore lack motivation to seek treatment, fails to help combat the epidemic.
To the contrary, treatment can be seen as a choice. About 50 percent of the population believe addiction is something other than a disease. As a result, the disease message misses 50 percent.
By its nature, many of those with opioid addictions neglect their children, commit crimes and cost our community thousands of dollars. Addiction is associated with families’ financial and emotional suffering. Families live in fear of a loved one dying from overdose.
The criminal justice system and treatment agencies need to also intervene in criminal behaviors that are also associated with addiction. Longer-term treatment programs can be made available in the Hancock County jail and other agencies with little or no extra expense. From my experience and others’ research and experience, this can reduce recidivism and overdoses.
Allowing those with addictions in withdrawal released from jail and back on the street and into the same drug-using environment is setting them up to use alcohol and drugs again.
Those administered Narcan to save their lives and left back on the street in withdrawal are setting them up for overdose.
More available funds need to be directed to prevention — helping children and families who are victims of the opioid epidemic and elderly abuse find safe homes and nurturing care.
I am familiar with families who adopted children from opioid-addicted parents who understand this.