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December 28, 2005 - Spokesman-Review (WA)

LTE: Are Drug Courts The Answer?

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

Despite S-R's ringing endorsement of drug courts (Our View, 12/20/05), questions remain if they're truly necessary.

For one, what if inexpensive treatment by demand was easily available to any addict on the day he or she asks for help, with no blame or stigma attached?

What if drug counselors didn't insist their clients have a disease they are powerless to cure?

What if citizens were to understand addiction as no more a treatable medical problem than unemployment or other environmental problems?

Since 90 to 100 percent of treatment programs are modeled after the 12-Step AA approach, one wonders how a supposed medical description of addiction relies for treatment primarily on a spiritual approach to the "disease."

The carrot/stick method is not the key reason an addict gets control of his or her substance abuse.

Court officials seldom acknowledge that a cooperative neighborhood and daily influence from loved ones, friends, co-workers, a pastor or a colleague are powers of greater and lasting importance.

Rather than being an effective response to drug addiction, forced treatment only expands government intrusion into more lives.

The only remedy for addiction is for more people to have the resources, values and communities for living productive lives.

Chuck Armsbury, Colville, WA

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