Pubdate: Sat, 01 Nov 2008
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: Barry Zevin


Editor - As a physician and an addiction specialist, I take issue 
with your statement that Proposition 5 "puts far too much faith in 
treatment." ("A risky drug plan" (Oct. 10). Substance abuse treatment 
works far better than incarceration at treating addiction and 
returning people to productive and fulfilling lives.

I have no faith at all in the criminal justice system to help people 
with addiction (and their families and society as a whole) without 
the resources Prop. 5 will offer. I know that substance abuse 
treatment, including outpatient programs, residential programs and 
methadone or buprenorphine maintenance, help people with addiction. I 
see it in my patients every day.

It is time to take a public health approach to addiction. Prop. 5 has 
been endorsed by the California Society of Addiction Medicine and the 
California Academy of Family Physicians. They know, and I know, that 
drug treatment can work and we need to give our young people and 
nonviolent drug offenders that opportunity. Please join me in voting 
"yes" on Prop 5.

BARRY ZEVIN San Francisco
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