Pubdate: Sun, 11 Mar 2001
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)
Copyright: 2001 Columbia Daily Tribune
Contact:  101 North 4th Street, P.O. Box 798 Columbia, MO 65205
Author: Jerry Mathis , project director Missouri Recovery Network


Editor, the Tribune:

A small victory is won in the war against drugs each time a major media 
entity such as Newsweek publishes - with accuracy and insight - a report on 

For those of us waging the war on local and statewide fronts, our struggles 
resemble a two-headed demon: One head represents the reality for current 
and potential addicts and alcoholics who face a certain hell from lack of 
treatment options. The other demon head is our state and national political 
arenas and a nation that has trouble accepting addiction for what it is - a 
treatable disease much like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Addiction is not a moral failing. Addiction is a disease that touches us 
all, some of us personally, all of us financially. Newsweek's statistics in 
its Feb. 21 issue on the staggering consequences and costs of addiction are 
right on target.

This war exists in all of our neighborhoods and where we work and go to school.

We believe our best hope of winning this war lies in changing perceptions 
and attitudes toward addiction.

The Missouri Recovery Network is one of 19 community support programs 
nationwide funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

We are also one of four statewide public-health projects housed at ACT 
Missouri in Jefferson City. Other projects include Missouri's Youth/Adult 
Alliance, a coalition to reduce underage drinking; Partnership for Drug 
Free Communities; and Community 2000.

We hope Newsweek's article encourages individuals to raise their voices in 
the war that we can win together.

Jerry Mathis, project director

Missouri Recovery Network
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