Pubdate: Mon, 18 Feb 2002
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2002 The Dallas Morning News
Author:  Larry Nickerson
Bookmark: (Youth)


In a Feb. 2 article ("Heroin deaths in Plano are down, but are they out?"), 
Clint Scofield tells us how some people are unsympathetic to his son's 
overdose death. If Mr. Scofield should read this, I want to assure him that 
I am not one of them. Like many metroplex parents, I have had a child who 
was into drugs. Like most, mine emerged OK and without a criminal record, 
though it was a rocky three years.

Those who have not had to deal with this situation may be unaware of how 
limited their options are. Long-term residential treatment may take months 
to get into and is beyond the financial ability of most people. Insurance 
companies often severely limit their policy coverage. State facilities are 
only available to those who have demonstrated they are a threat to 
themselves or others.

Unlike Detective Terrence Holway, I deplore tough policies like those of 
the Plano Police Department. It may look good for Plano that some of their 
overdose victims are showing up as other hospitals' statistics. It cannot 
be good for the overdose victims.

The help that parents need is advocated by 17-year-old student Lei Liew, 
who is president of Plano Senior High School's chapter of Students Taking 
Action Not Drugs. She says, "Our focus is to get those people who do use 
drugs to desire a different lifestyle as opposed to taking action against 

My view is those who want to pack 'em off to prison are on the opposing 
side to parents.

Larry Nickerson, Fort Worth
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