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Addiction Help Expanded in Massachusetts

An article on SouthCoastToday.com, originating in Massachusetts, discussed the $5 million being invested in two drug treatment facilities that will offer addiction help services for those addicted to heroin, OxyContin and other opiates who are headed for jail.

According to the article, the number of non-fatal opiate overdoses climbed from 8,000 in 1996 to 18,000 in 2005.  The treatment facilities in MA deal primarily with alcoholism. Officials are trying to do something about the opiate problem – which they call an epidemic.

The shocking thing is that the facilities will only be able to offer treatment to 120 people. And it’s long term treatment, so the turnover’s going to be slow. With 18,000 people overdosing in a year’s time, the number of people using the drugs has got to be at least 10 or 20 times higher. So, we’re going to have an additional 120 beds available for people seeking addiction help. That’s just not going to cut it.

Are we headed for a nation of zombies? Once again, it’s hard to make anyone other than drug companies responsible for this. If a company that made guns wanted to spend billions on advertising to popularize the idea that guns, and using them, would create a safer environment, it would never be allowed. And yet drug companies’ money is eagerly accepted despite the fact that these drugs are also klling people and ruining lives left, right and center. Everyone from parents to local governments, and even the federal government, is trying to come up with the means to get people the addiction help services they need – while the drug companies popularizing drugs as a way to change your personal environment are raking in the dough.

Shameful situation. They’re also employing hundreds of thousands of people, are part of the stock portfolios of probably at least as many Americans, and are significant contributors to political campaigns. Hard to shake them.

Yet, shake them we must. Many people see this for what it is but, obviously, it’s not enough people, and not enough of the right people. Until that situation is remedied – and even afterwards – each of us has to take whatever steps we have to to get people the addiction help services they need.

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