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Addicts deserve a decent chance at recovery

Date published: 3/28/2014

After reading the March 19 article titled "Herring hears safety issues," I have this to share:

If there were 20 murderers in Culpeper, would people notice? I am sure! That's what heroin does. It kills our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers.

There is so much shame and so little help in the mental health field that you would have to sell your house and live in a tent to get your loved one into a decent substance abuse rehab center that would give at least a year of recovery and give them a chance.

With that, users are afraid to come out and they are afraid to stay sick, so they steal to pay for the only medicine that makes them feel better, and that's heroin or pills.

Fredericksburg is full of drug addicts, and they are not "good-for-nothing users." They are souls who took a wrong turn and found themselves where they never thought they would be--in hell!

It's not just the hell they are going through personally--losing everything that meant anything to them, including the ones they love. It is also the hell of feeling rejected and being treated like dirt and being labeled convicted felons for the rest of their lives.

We don't need stronger laws for addicts. We need more compassion. We need mandatory, competent rehabilitation. Our law enforcement has to handle what mental health facilities should be doing, having to deal with addicts going through detoxification cold turkey without the proper medical treatment that they need.

Families are silent as well because of stigma. Yes, there is a problem and the system is broken. Let's find a more compassionate answer to this health epidemic.

Sharon Elder Hauger