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Updated: September 17, 2019 @ 1:39 pm
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For much too long our whole society at all levels made the mistake of seeing the addiction problem as a problem to be fixed by law enforcement. The 40 year war on drugs as a problem to be fixed by law enforcement has been a large failure. Every drug abuse task force report I’ve examined makes it clear that the opiod addiction problem needs to be treated as a public health problem with a smaller role for law enforcement.
Again in reference to comments by DarkenSkies, several states have formed drug abuse task forces which have issued reports assessing the issue. I’ve skimmed some of these reports. They all make it clear that the opiod problem runs across ALL socioeconomic groups. THe typical opiod addict starts off as someone taking prescribed opiods for medicinal reasons, especially pain relief. In part because not everyones body chemistry is the same, some people end up becoming addicted to prescription medicine. A lot of it begins without the involvement of the stereotypical drug dealer etc. After addiction occurs, some addicts turn to Heroin etc specially if they no longer can get prescriptions.
In a previous comment I stated that it was a struggle to revive the CASA program last year. The reason it was a struggle was that several members of the board leadership resisted it enough so that it was not put into the budget until an amendment to the budget added it the night the budget was adopted. THe county could easily have afforded to support it in 2008 and later years, but didn’t value the program enough to support it then. I know because I’ve been on the county board that whole time period.
To add to DarkenSkies comments, children who grow up lacking good adult guidance are less likely to become well adjusted adults and parents compared to children raised with lots of good adult guidance. In some cases, other adults have made large positive differences in children’s lives even if that child’s parents aren’t parenting very well.
Just asking, Are most of these so-called parents that abuse their children, children themselves and on the payroll of the Welfare System?
There was a very viable Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program operating in Sauk and Columbia counties for several years. http://www.casaforchildren.org/site/c.mtJSJ7MPIsE/b.5301295/k.BE9A/Home.htmThe CASA program that helps some kids at risk before they get into trouble. It failed in both counties in 2008 because both counties failed to provide a meager amount of funding to keep it operating. Fortunately we revived the program last year in Sauk County last year but it was a huge struggle to do so.
These are the kinds of results one gets from penny wise and pound foolish priorities. As a society we resist spending money for prevention and then need up spending much more to fix problems.Sauk County government has been spending about $60,000 a year to keep adults in jail. Few people complain about that expense. Yet many complain that we spend about $13,000 per K-12 student per year or that we spend some money (it is still a meager amount) to treat people with addictions or mental health issues.
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