Pubdate: Wed, 18 May 2016
Source: Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)
Copyright: 2016 The Press Democrat
Author: Marla Pfohl


EDITOR: Maia Szalavitz is a powerful voice for methadone maintenance 
("Addiction treatment might have helped," Thursday). The fact that 
her opinion was printed from afar and was a half-page in length 
speaks to the import of this issue here in Sonoma County. Prince was 
an amazing artist - so were Phillip Seymor Hoffman, John Belushi, 
Heath Ledger and River Phoenix).

As an addiction counselor working with opiate addicts, I sadly and 
deeply appreciate the attention that these famous people's deaths 
draw to the epidemic of opiate addiction and overdose.

But The Press Democrat is a local paper and this issue directly 
impacts Sonoma County's families, schools, hospitals, the 
employability of our citizens and every neighborhood in our county.

While Prince's death is a tragedy, it is with our residents in mind 
that I share the numbers published by the California Behavioral 
Health Directors' Association: 142 Sonoma County residents died of 
opiate overdose between 2009 and 2013. These are not famous people, 
but they are our people.

May anyone who struggles with addiction find recovery and may the 
rest of us stop judging how they do it.


Santa Rosa
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