Letters: Treatment options not enough for addicts lost in a broken system

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Dear Editor:

Many talk about the education, etc., for the young people getting hooked on drugs, and I feel it’s needed. However, as a relative of an older user [over age 50] with years of “hustle experience” (ability to get cash by selling and buying whatever – I don’t always find out ’til he gets arrested) or pawning all his belongings etc. the solutions discussed will not be as helpful to a long time user, and multiple trips to jail, rehab and such have had no effect.

I do not think the treatment is there for my relative.

However, my relative is a veteran with 100 percent VA disability check (for mental health reasons, maybe related to years of drugs) so we all know that the VA provides him with medical access, but is not very effective on any of his issues – even though it is also slow to get him in and they tend to treat for drugs for 1-2 weeks – and the help comes weeks after applying for it. So in my opinion, too slow, too late.

They do have programs, but after several stints my relative is currently back in jail on parole violation for use amongst other violations (second time in six months). I have become his power of attorney in an effort to manage his finances and keep him from losing everything again. Perhaps some feel it is enabling; maybe it is to an extent. I only give him a weekly stipend, yet those have been manipulated into funds to the use for buying, selling EBT cards (I found looking through the cell phone) working with male and female prostitutes as a way to gain more money or sex  – or both – for drugs, even though the stipend is just enough to eat and drive.

I personally think he is safer in jail, for himself and the public. There is no real help for him, beside myself and his mother, who is utterly on the edge over all of this. I also feel our parole system needs review and education to evaluate each situation, although as stated before it comes down to money. If you post this please don’t print my name as my family would not appreciate me airing our dirty laundry, so to speak. Over the years I’ve tried to offer advice and support, but it’s not been enough. I feel frustrated by it wanted to post this but felt my family would not appreciate airing our dirty laundry so to speak.

Signed,

Frustrated by Addiction


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About Carol Robidoux 5218 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.