Pubdate: Wed, 22 Feb 2012
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2012 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Margaret Dooley-Sammuli


Re "Care for the addicts who aren't pop superstars" (Editorials, Feb. 
18): As a family member of someone who has struggled with drugs and 
alcohol, I commend your recent call for expanding access to treatment services.

It's important to note that any exposure to treatment -- even if it 
isn't "completed" -- has positive benefits. Addiction is a chronic, 
relapsing condition. Just as we should never cut off treatment for 
diabetes or heart disease, it's never appropriate to give up on a 
person struggling with a drug or alcohol problem.

Where can we find the money to expand access to treatment? We should 
stop spending millions of dollars every year to lock up people up 
whose only "crime" is their addiction. Let's stop wasting money on 
failed, punitive drug war policies. Let's spend it on treatment and 
community supports instead -- so that our loved ones and family 
members can heal.

- -- Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, San Diego
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