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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 3, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Washington state budget deficit

Jails don’t solve the problem, treatment centers do

I’ve read articles about victims of the recession and I wonder if our neighbors are aware of all the ways in which they are going to be victimized.

Gov Christine Gregoire’s budget is resulting in the closure of drug- and alcohol-treatment centers that rely on funding from the state. These treatment centers cater to the lower-economic class — the same class responsible for the majority of domestic terrorism, crime and addiction.

It is in these treatment centers that users learn how to become tax-paying citizens, instead of unemployed addicts.

Gregoire’s solution to saving money will result in increased homelessness, addiction and crime. My question to the people is where they want their addicts: in treatment centers, learning to be responsible economic contributors, or breaking into their homes, so as to steal their heirlooms to trade for drugs?

I think people are under the impression that drug abusers can and should just stop. But, the problem is those in the grips of addiction are not able to stop using drugs without treatment.

Through my own research, I found after treatment, users consume fewer community resources, go back to work and resume taking care of their families.

Those who go back to jail learn how to be better criminals.

I think protecting funds that pay for addiction treatment is the only economic choice. Otherwise, we could have addicts raising the next generation.

— Jason Scott, Bremerton

Connecting the dots on our own

Thank you for acknowledging that in January the amount of the stimulus dollars was expected to be much greater.

However in realizing our state will get fewer dollars, you should have told us the Mercer Street fix our mayor supports lacks millions of dollars in order to be “shovel ready,” which is no doubt why the transportation committee correctly chose to exclude it from the stimulus funding.

— Keith Biever, Seattle

Comments | More in Washington Legislature

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