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Opinion

April 18, 2014

In Your Opinion: State needs to prioritize rehab

I watch a lot of TV, too much, perhaps, but the shows are better and better. I often focus on shows relating to alcohol. I just watched the last segment of “Shameless,” about an outrageous Chicago family in the drunken downward crazy spiral of poverty and alcohol, and I am looking forward to the final season of “Mad Men,” which is often three-piece-suit drinking, but often with the same sad outcome.

I am also strangely attracted to programs like “Bar Rescue” and “Restaurant Impossible,” shows about those guys who often save establishments from their drunken owners and employees. There are many other shows that advance the idea that drinking is always pretty, with gorgeous women ready to fall for you. There is never a hint of slurring words or hanging onto the porcelain god after some “bad ice” (or perhaps 30 beers).

Just recently, New York state announced it will spend $60 million to promote alcohol. Where is the public interest and funding for the “healthy” side of the coin: state-run rehabs, halfway houses and detoxes? 

Locally, the planned closure of Bassett’s inpatient psych unit is going to put another roadblock in the way of providing help for people who need it.

Mayhem and violence associated with drug and alcohol abuse should be addressed by the criminal justice system, but it is overwhelmed with the number of drug cases, with heroin becoming the new “bargain” high. Big Pharma Oxy and other downer drugs are so expensive that they send people to the needle, and overcrowding the prisons with mostly sick individuals is a crying shame.

It tears apart lots of families and certainly has not helped win the drug war.

Alcoholism and drug addiction are not going away.

It is time to add services rather than remove them.

Alan Kaplan

Delhi

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