Treatment Funding is Crucial to our Success

May 28, 2009

I had a call from a close friend whose teenage nephew is in real trouble. The 16-year old young man, who grew up in Owings Mills, moved to the West Coast several years ago with his mom and has gotten into using the drug Methamphetamine. He also joined a gang. In fact, my friend had just been out there and had met with the young man who was currently locked up on his first felony charge. "He completely lacked emotion", my friend said as he described his nephew's description of robbing a convenience store and shooting someone in the leg. "He seemed like he just didn't care."

He may not have. Methamphetamine is a very powerful drug. It is a drug described in the book "Beautiful Boy" as making you feel "crystal clear", but sadly without feelings. They call Meth users "Tweakers". Jimmy Palmieri made a documentary about the experience several years ago which is a "must see", if you have a loved one who may be afflicted.

As the Boston Globe reported on February 14, 2006, "The methamphetamine problem that has ravaged lives on the west coast is steadily moving east." It’s much closer now than three years ago.

If we, as providers, are going to combat this scourge, public resources for addiction treatment need to increase, not decrease.

Please advocate for public support for addiction treatment!