Addiction affects many, but it’s worth fighting

It gives me a good feeling to see how many programs are being offered to help those who have fallen to addiction and their families who feel hopeless.

Seven years ago, we had one door after another slammed, stating there really was little money to help addicts and no local treatment centers.

We attended many town meetings and pleaded with angry crowds to allow treatment centers to open.

The majority of these folks wanted no part of rehabilitation in their neighborhood and they spent time and money to stop them.

I haven’t read any news about these patients looting neighborhoods or hurting children, which was the main concern.

We were told that it would take about five years for the drug problems to become bad enough that people would start taking affirmative action. It was a statistic they used from other towns plagued by heroin and other drugs.

Obviously, addiction has now touched the lives of many of these families who felt addicts did not deserve rehabilitation. They may know someone or may now have loved ones suffering and know that drug use not only effects the user but the entire family. I would never wish this on any family.

I do sing the praises of Operation Our Town and progress they are making getting drug dealers out of our area and seeing the importance of rehabilitation to get the people we love off of drugs. I also salute Judge Kopriva, who was one of the only professionals that showed us compassion. She also was instrumental in starting the drug court program, along with Judy Rosser, Pyramid Health Care and St. Joseph Institute.

I do think that a close look should be taken at Blair County Prison as I believe the majority of inmates are in there for drug related activities and have a history of returning after they are released, relapse or, sadly, overdose. This is a captive audience where drug programs could be presented day after day.

If money is the issue, think how much taxpayers are paying to have them sit in a cell or common area and watch TV all day.

Keep up the good work: It’s hard work but soon we may be able to stop burying loved ones.

Judy Russ, Greenwood