Independent Voices |

Independent Voices


Should local governments and hospitals financially support the Colorado West Detox Center?

Colorado ranks 50th in funding for substance abuse treatment, and it shows. If the Detox closes, jails and hospitals become the holding facilities for intoxicated people who are arrested or arrive at the emergency room. Currently, the nation’s jails are the largest holding facilities for people with mental illness and substance abuse problems.

The lack of funding for adequate treatment is a community problem, a political issue, and a public disgrace. If we want a healthy community, the whole community needs to address this problem and contribute to the solution.

Tough call. Are we willing to pay for those who intentionally abuse themselves? Again and again? Personally I disagree with those who say alcoholism is incurable; I’ve seen cures. So my feelings are “yes” to supporting the Detox Center. But let’s ask for a commitment to making real change, so that detox is not needed in the future, and for contributions of time and costs from those using detox. I’m not into enabling the “disease” long term.

One would think that if a person has the money to get “drunk as a skunk” they should also be able to find funds to take treatment to become sober citizens. Unfortunately that is not the case, and society must protect itself from the sometimes lethal consequences of alcoholic driving, drunken rages and foggy carelessness.

Society, in this case local governments, should and must financially support detox centers. Otherwise the financial burden falls to hospitals or county government when they end up in jail on their way to the hospital.

I wish our society had a good solution for alcohol and drug abuse, but the fact is, people overuse these substances. It isn’t against the law to be drunk, but a drunk person who is a danger to themselves or others must be dealt with. The Detox Center is necessary to officers who deal with public drunkenness. Since it fills a need in society and is not financially self-supporting due to most clients having no insurance, then the public has to bite the bullet and pick up the tab.

Yes! Our effective Detox Center, combined with Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous, is the most efficient, realistic, economical means of treating the acute, insidious disease of addiction and substance abuse. Addiction can be treated. Every success is one less family destroyed, crime committed, life lost. We cannot afford the consequence of not supporting Detox. Addiction affects every community, family and individual. From our president to the poverty-stricken, no one is spared. Dispute concerning payment is not effectively addressing the immediate social problems that will accelerate if Detox is not available.

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