Pubdate: Thu, 14 Dec 2000
Source: Eugene Weekly (OR)
Copyright: Eugene Weekly 2000.
Author: Margaret C. Waite


To Lane County commissioners:

Please consider allocating a generous portion of the "Federal 
Payments to Counties" moneys (timber money) to drug treatment and 
rehabilitation. It may seem expensive, but the cost of drug addiction 
in our county is tremendous.

Approximately 80 percent of the crime committed in Lane County is 
drug related in one way or another. Everything from bank robbery to 
child and spousal abuse, and from auto thefts and break-ins, to home 
and business burglaries, 80 percent can be traced back to drugs. The 
financial cost in law enforcement alone is staggering. Also, think of 
the toll it takes on the tax paying community as a whole when you 
consider both physical and mental health costs, unemployment, 
incarceration and broken homes.

The environmental hazards of contaminated [housing] units are a great 
threat to owners, employees, future tenants as well as to our water 
supply. The cost to government and property owners of cleaning up 
these contaminated sites is astronomical.

Deaths from heroin overdoses have quadrupled over the past few years. 
A large percentage of the prostitutes are heroin addicts and many 
have AIDS or hepatitis, or both.

In the long run, treatment is not only the most humane way, but the 
most economical way to treat this problem. Please fund drug treatment.

Margaret C. Waite
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