Pubdate: Fri, 20 Apr 2007
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles Times
Author: Paul Cherashore


Re "Drug use rearrests up after Prop. 36," April 14

How can we have a rational public discussion on a subject --
recidivism of drug users -- that is couched in more mysticism than
covert operations of the CIA? An honest discussion of the topic would
ask why a protocol with at best a 10% to 15% success rate is
continually applied year after year. Drug treatment doesn't work
because it's an incorrect solution to the wrong problem. The real
issue is social justice and equal access to housing, employment,
wealth, healthcare, psychotherapy, education, legal services -- all
the things that most middle-class Americans (who overwhelmingly make
up the voting and policymaking class) take for granted. Yet we persist
with behavior modification, requiring poor or socially marginalized
drug users who are self-medicating serious personal problems to stop
applying the balm before addressing the source of their pain. And then
we scream "lock them up" when they fail.

Paul Cherashore

Brooklyn, N.Y.
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