Pubdate: Sat, 23 Oct 2004
Source: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
Copyright: 2004 The Oregonian
Author: Kitt Woods


The problem with methamphetamines in Portland that was highlighted
Oct. 17 ("Homes, schools show scars of an epidemic") is something we
all need to address. Rampant drug use is a symptom of a failing
community. It is not that these people are weak or morally flawed --
they are simply looking for a short-term fix to long-term problems.
Stigmatizing addicts is not going to solve this issue.

In response to this "epidemic," we need to respond with
community-based support. Many of us are living in communities in which
our neighbors are strangers. This creates an environment without a
sense of belonging. We don't watch out for each other or for one
another's children.

Neighborhood recreation centers where people can come together need to
be (added) throughout our city. We need to help one another through
hard times in order to avoid destructive cycles such as falling into
methamphetamine use.

In the long run, we would be helping not just these individuals, but
the entire community by enhancing the overall health of our city.


Southwest Portland 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake