Pubdate: Thu, 14 Jun 2007
Source: Amherst Daily News (CN NS)
Copyright: Amherst Daily News 2007
Author: Rick Toupin


To the Editor,

Once again our Conservative government wants to follow the failed 
American model to get tough on crime. We need more accessible 
community-based addiction and mental health treatment. Psychiatrists 
will often push prescription drug therapy with minimal talk time 
allotted per patient visit. I once co-facilitated an addiction 
support group in our county jail and often some inmates could not get 
out of bed to come. Many were drugged with valium frequently along 
with one or more antidepressants. If inmates were not addicted going 
into jail they were coming out. The government has closed all of the 
addiction treatment 28 day programs in Nova Scotia and allowed 
changes in treatment philosophy to a new and as yet uncertain model 
that dismisses active long established community based support 
groups. Until we end drug prohibition, stop following the American 
led war on drugs and force our governments to spend at least 30 per 
cent of addiction based profits on education and treatment things 
will continue to slide. An increased fear and punishment based action 
plan will create only more of the same negative results.

Rick Toupin,

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