Pubdate: Thu, 05 Apr 2007
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles Times
Author: Ben Pesta


Re "Users kicking Prop. 36, not drugs," April 1

It's become fashionable to bash Proposition 36 because "only" 24.5% of
those ordered into rehab completed the course of treatment during the
most recent statistical period. In fact, 24.5% represents a howling
success, as just about anyone familiar with the treatment of addiction
diseases will tell you. Of that 24.5%, 78% remained drug free a year
later. Most addiction-treatment programs count 10% as a high success
rate. Yet there seems to be an across-the-board agreement to treat
Proposition 36 as a failure, even though it has dramatically reduced
the number of people serving time for drug possession offenses.

For Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ana Maria Luna to
attribute an expectation of "probably a 75% or higher success rate" to
the "lay voter" is just magic thinking (if that's what the lay voter
really expected). No addiction-treatment program anywhere has a 75%
success rate.

Ben Pesta

Los Angeles
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