Pubdate: Wed, 09 May 2007
Source: Tucson Citizen (AZ)
Copyright: 2007 Tucson Citizen
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


Addiction to methamphetamine is tough to kick. But contrary to a 
major meth myth, recovery is possible.

So we're heartened by the emphasis on treatment outlined in the new 
report by Gov. Janet Napolitano's Arizona Methamphetamine Task Force.

Effective, long-term treatment tailored to meth users must be 
available in Arizona communities, on Indian reservations and 
particularly in our prisons.

Without a taste of recovery, crimes by convicted addicts most 
assuredly will recur.

In addition, treatment should be coupled with attention to any 
mental-health problems.

People with mental-health issues sometimes "self-medicate" their 
ailments with illegal drugs.

That effort only exacerbates their problems, so meth treatment 
providers must address both the addiction and its root causes.

Treatment alternatives to prison also should be explored, recommends 
the new report, "A Plan for Action: Addressing the Methamphetamine 
Crisis in Arizona."

Even long-term, intensive treatment programs will cost the state less 
than incarceration does. And when recovery can be achieved, our 
society loses a criminal and gains a productive citizen.

The sudden onslaught of widespread meth abuse in Arizona caught 
treatment providers unprepared.

But while meth calls for different treatment approaches than some 
other addictions, experience now shows that recovery is possible - 
given sufficient ongoing treatment.

We urge legislative and federal officials to heed the task force 
report and provide funding for adequate treatment of Arizona meth addicts.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman