Pubdate: Fri, 05 Aug 2016
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2016 The Washington Post Company
Author: Don Mathis


The Aug. 2 Health & Science article "Cause of death" showed the human 
face and family tragedy of heroin addiction. The heart-wrenching 
stories of the fatal overdoses of Jordan Roche and Kelsea Brandt, 
among others, revealed that those who succumb to addiction aren't 
criminals. Rather, those who forsake their families, friends, 
careers, health and futures suffer from a bona fide disease of the brain.

Brandt and Roche lived in Harford County, Md., where I'm privileged 
to work with our drug courts. Every day, our elected and appointed 
officials, treatment providers, law enforcement officers, education 
officials, faith-based groups and nonprofit agencies work to overcome 
the stigmas of substance-use disorder. They work to discourage and 
prevent drug use by children, youths, pregnant women, those suffering 
from post-traumatic stress disorder and others.

Congress has to provide the funding that should have accompanied 
passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to honor the 
lives and struggles of the people who die from addiction.

Don Mathis, Havre de Grace, Md. The writer is a case manager with the 
Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy.
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