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August 27, 2013

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August 27, 2013

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treatment for addicts

Thank you so much for your efforts in making changes in these horrible drug laws. I fully support the idea that prisons do nothing to cure addiction. However, current rehab facilities aren't working either. My son is an addict. Insurance wouldn't pay for rehab. He was on a waiting list (months) for psychiatric help and he wound up in the prison system and shock camp for non-violent drug offenses. When he got out he was basically thrown back on the streets with a felony record. He can't get a decent job. He can't make enough money to even get his license back. It's been 4 years. I believe that shock camp is a step in the right direction. Sadly, drug addiction turns good people into monsters. We couldn't live with him and we couldn't help him. I think addiction treatment needs to have some rather extreme measures to get these young people off drugs and thinking clearly. I think this can be accomplished without the handicap of a life long felony record. When an individual is "sentenced to rehab" that rehab needs to start with a Shock Camp experience. So closing shock camps is a bad idea. Once an individual successfully completes a shock program, he/she needs to go to a structured employment program in which he/she is mandated to pay back all debts, learn how to save for things like a license and a vehicle. There needs to be family counseling to repair damaged relationships, etc As the individual completes this program and makes satisfactory progress toward continued rehabilitation he/she will need support in obtaining job training for future employment and help in getting that employment. The individual will need continued monitoring to ensure that he is still working, saving, paying debts and being a responsible family member and citizen. There are no resources in place to provide this kind of re-direction. There is a great deal of money to be saved by not locking up non-violent drug offenders, but failing to use some of that savings to TREAT the addict would be a crime. I had to send my son into the prison system to stop him from his escalating criminal behavior. Before he got to shock camp he spent a total of 6 months in the county jail and then being bussed around to max. security prisons until he finally got to a shock program. He got no counseling and no help. He was a scared kid. When he was released he had nothing left. He was, and still is, somewhat estranged from his family. He continues to make poor financial choices. He tries, but then gives up when time and again he's turned down for jobs because of his prison record, his poor financial history, his lack of experience and his lack of transportation. He gets so discouraged and he winds up using and engaging in criminal behavior again. Because he's over 18 I have no say in what he does. He and so many others like him need mandatory (voluntary won't cut it) guidance and direction from positive role models. Thank you for listening.

Karen White 365 days ago

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