Recovering addicts can assist others


The insight you exhibited in your Nov. 22 editorial “Campaign addiction” showed a true understanding of our country’s continuing battle with drug abuse and addiction.

But narrowing the topic to a campaign issue in the race for Ohio attorney general is disingenuous. The focus needs to be wider than just the heroin epidemic. The scourge includes many other drugs, not the least of which is alcohol.

I assist people who are recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. As you point out, it is crucial for more officials and the public to realize that treatment, education, and the use of community resources and health organizations are the answers to the drug plague. Our reliance on out-of-date laws and sentencing guidelines exacerbates the problem and contributes to a widening crisis.

Funding for treatment and community programs is fast drying up, while the cost of imprisoning offenders is skyrocketing. The results are often more serious felons being released and addicts who seek help left abandoned.

Treatment, while it often requires more than one attempt, is still a more cost-effective use of our limited resources. It is a more humane approach, which in the long run provides a more lasting benefit to society.

Enlisting the help of recovering addicts in our midst as examples of what’s possible would support a public education campaign.