Pubdate: Mon, 28 Feb 2011
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Copyright: 2011 Mary L. Boeger
Author: Mary L. Boeger


How can we be surprised when Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's threatens
to cut almost the entire budget for alcohol and drug abuse prevention
and treatment in Illinois ("Borrowing trouble," Feb. 22)? This
cavalier decision also speaks to the stigma that addicts have a disease.

In 1956, the American Medical Association said that alcoholism is a
disease. Despite that and the many various statements of medical
professionals since then, the stigma is alive and well.

Recovery from the illness is not only possible but probable with
proper treatment.

In truth, alcohol and drug treatment has very few organized advocates
who can 'storm" state capitals and make a difference for treatment and
recovery. Until all of the diverse alcohol and drug treatment
professionals (public and private), the recovering community and
family members are organized in a meaningful way, the field always
will take one step forward and three backward.

Mary L. Boeger

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