Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jun 2002
Source: Daily Independent, The (KY)
Copyright: 2002 The Daily Independent, Inc.
Author: Joel L. Carter
Bookmark: (Oxycontin/Oxycodone)


In Mr. Goldie's letter of June 18 concerning the "legalization of 
drugs,"  he questions the wisdom of decriminalizing the use of illicit 
drugs. To this I offer no argument. I take issue with his sweeping 
generalizations and simplistic reasoning.

Rehabilitation does not work? Revisit recent editorials in The Daily 
Independent concerning drug court pilot programs in Boyd and Greenup 
counties. The extremely high success rates of treatment programs on which 
local efforts are modeled cannot be denied. Would Mr. Goldie prefer we 
build and staff ever more prisons to house ever more non-violent 

"Most of the druggies aren't able to hold a job..."  How many does he 
personally know?  Are alcoholics included?  Ask the professionals: 
Unemployed addicts/alcoholics are the exception. Alcoholics and addicts 
look and act like our children, our siblings, our parents .

"Nothing good ever comes from drugs." Which drugs?  The current scourge de 
jour, Oxycontin, is an extremely effective painkiller for those truly 
needing it.  You weren't referring to medically-prescribed drugs?  Heroin, 
cocaine, or marijuana perhaps?  All these have near cousins in medical use 

"Caning the drug users" and "hanging the drug dealers"?  Seriously? Suppose 
Mom crosses the line from taking her Valium prescribed for an anxiety 
disorder into becoming dependent (an "addict") while taking it as 
prescribed and in good faith.  Where on this slippery slope should Mom earn 
Mr. Goldie's caning?  What of our children selling drugs merely in order to 
continue their own addiction? The problem isn't availability; it's demand.

Seek out the truth on addiction and recovery yourself. Attend open 
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings and talk to people 
there.  Support the local drug court initiatives and encourage your 
representatives to do the same.  The lives we save may be our children's or 
our own.  Think about it.

Joel L. Carter, Olive Hill
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