Pubdate: Mon, 06 Nov 2006
Source: Columbian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2006 The Columbian Publishing Co.
Author: Michael J. Kempf


Since the 1960s, my life has been plagued with the effects of drugs 
and alcohol. I was drunk the first time I was arrested and each time 
after. I became a number in the system, perhaps a statistic.

Meth use is an epidemic that has spread throughout Clark County and 
our nation. The war on drugs is a losing battle. Fighting must be a 
personal assault against addiction. The addict needs help, not longer 
prison sentences. Recovering addicts can become willing assets to the 
community. Being stuck in addiction is costly to each member of a community.

Being warehoused for decades, I became a God-fearing man, not 
returning to society as a rapist, robber or murderer. But I did come 
back with more problems than just my addiction. Today many come back 
as gang members, racists or a combination of things.

It is wiser to invest in a cure and prevention than to fight a 
wildfire. Help the addict become a taxpayer, instead of remaining a 
tax burden, and we all win.

Michael J. Kempf

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