Pubdate: Sun, 22 May 2005
Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
Copyright: 2005 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Note: only publishes letters from state residents.
Author:  Dana Bergman
Bookmark: (Incarceration)
Bookmark: (Treatment)
Note: Source rarely prints LTEs received from outside its circulation area


In an "As I See It" by Justice Patrick A. Fox (Telegram & Gazette, May 2), 
he urged us, as a community, to address the problem within the criminal 
justice system of substance abuse. In my experience ,as a longtime 
counselor in court-mandated programs for driver alcohol education, I have 
seen again and again the benefits that treatment provides to all members of 
our community. Lives change, families are strengthened and people become 
contributing members of society.

I agree with Judge Fox that we already know what needs to be done in order 
to move beyond the chaos and high price of substance abuse. We need funding 
for treatment programs that help people recover from substance abuse.

Those recovery programs help control crime, they help avoid repeated and 
expensive incarceration and they save valuable health care-related dollars.

I, too, encourage our legislators to find their political courage and 
advocate for much-needed funding in the area of substance abuse treatment 
and recovery.

Our community can be safer, healthier and stronger if we invest in 
treatment programs.

Dana Bergman

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