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Published: Monday, 10/29/2001

For Issue 4

When an addict finally decides to seek help, he can't be told to come back later when treatment is available. Chances are, he won't return. But that problem will be relieved if voters approve the 0.5-mill levy placed on the Nov. 6 ballot by the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lucas County.

It's unfortunate that alcohol and drug addicts who want treatment are turned away because it's not readily available. Addicts don't easily arrive at the decision to go for help, but once they do, treatment must be available right then.

Passage of Issue 4 will help minimize such problems.

ADAS, with the unfortunate acronym that most people don't recognize, is actually an umbrella organization funding 18 agencies that provide treatment services. Annually the agencies provide treatment services to some 5,000 Lucas County residents and prevention and education services to another 85,000 people. That's a substantial list of clients and “customers.”

The $3.8 million that this property tax levy would generate would ensure those services continue and reduce the number of those who just cannot be helped. The levy cost: The owner of a $100,000 home would pay $15.32 annually.

Addiction is not solely an individual or immediate family matter. It is a community-wide problem. ADAS doesn't work alone, but links with schools, law enforcement, criminal justice, employers, and corrections.

Its current operating budget is $7.5 million. The added funding would allow addicts to stay in treatment longer and bring in family members, too, because engaging families contributes to addicts' long-term success. It may also come as a surprise to some that most illicit drug abusers are employed in decent jobs. They certainly are not all derelicts or street people.

A bit of history is in order here. In March, 2000, voters rejected an earlier ADAS levy request. Then, as now, we suspect, many voters just didn't understand what ADAS is all about. It's important that they take the time to find out, and support ADAS' vital work by approving Issue 4.

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