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State School would be perfect place for addiction treatment

To The Daily Sun,

As so many already know, we have an epidemic. A drug epidemic. Many people are dying every day and even more are in the hospitals, rehabs, and jails. Everyone is talking about needing more police, adding onto the jail, adding more programs to the jails, having everyone carry Narcan, etc.

What I haven't heard much talk about is more rehabs. Not only places to detox and offer long-term rehab and dual-diagnosis rehab, but also affordable sober living places. Contributing to this epidemic is when an addict really wants to get help and there is no help available. There is a four-to six-week waiting list. So, what are they supposed to do?

Of course, if there is cash in hand, or private insurance to cover, beds seem to open up much quicker. Let's face it, how many addicts have those kinds of resources? Not too many. New Hampshire is 48th in this country for number of addiction and recovery programs available, but second in addiction. A little unbalanced and not in a good way.

If we were dealing with any other type of epidemic where people were dying, everyone would be scrambling to find ways to control it, and eradicate it. The state, counties, towns, and cities would be spending millions or even billions on plans, buildings, medical care, etc. to treat it and prevent as many deaths as possible, would they not? So, why is this epidemic so different? Why are so many people willing to look the other way?

Because it hasn't touched you and/or your family yet? Because there are still so many that are uneducated about addiction and believe that because they chose to start doing drugs, they deserve what happens to them.

Addiction is a chronic disease, just like any other chronic illness. And it's displacing children and families, and wiping out a whole generation of people. Why then, isn't there more talk of more rehabs and recovery centers? I have been wondering for a long time why someone didn't think about using the State School property for just that. It would be a perfect place. It offers plenty of room to be able to make it into a compound of sorts – a retreat. A short-term rehab as well as a long-term (six months to a year) rehab, because quite frankly, a 28-day rehab does very little for a hard-core addict. Perhaps even a sober living community.

Heck, while we are at it, let's throw in some regular Nar anon meetings, of which there are none in this area. Can you believe with this epidemic, and all the hurting families that could use some support, that the closest Nar anon support group is Manchester?

I read in this paper that some of the Laconia officials are against the idea of using the State School property for a rehab, even saying that the neighborhoods nearby do not want something like that in their neighborhoods.

I would not call the State School property "in their neighborhoods." There are neighborhoods much closer to the county jail than the State School. That's one of the beauties of using the State School property for a rehab is that there are very few neighborhoods remotely close to it.

As you may or may not realize, addiction is not just a disease of the addict, it is a family disease, a community disease and we need to band together and do everything humanly possible to try to end the stigma and the mentality of "not in my backyard, " and try to save lives.

One of the many things I've always admired about the Lakes Region is everyone always seems to be willing to pitch in to help others when it's needed. We need this to save our fellow human beings who are struggling with and battling this disease. The Lakes Region needs it, the State of New Hampshire needs it, families need it, and most importantly, the addicts need it if there will ever be any hope of getting this under control.

M.E. Drouin
Laconia

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Expanded WOW Trail will be perfect spot to 'conduct business'

To The Daily Sun,

I must say in theory that the IDEA of the WOW trail is wonderful ... it's a great way to be able to walk your dogs, run, bicycle and just meander without the menace of traffic weaving in and out all over the place. Kids can play and ride bikes and parents can walk with strollers and have a great day out.

In reality I think it's one of the worst mistakes this town has made. It's tailor made for crime, criminals, drugs and subterfuge on any given day or particularly at night.

Is the town prepared to have cameras all along the route? Or prepared to have extra police patrol the entire trail day and night almost constantly? Are the EMTs able to get to any part of the trail fast for an overdose, police for a robbery or assault? The drug situation in this town alone is enough to scare one silly, the WOW trail will become the perfect spot to "conduct business."

Things like this in our town are now the norm, not the exception. I know I wouldn't feel safe traversing any part of that trail and I am sure there are others who feel the same way,mainly at night where so much can and more than likely will happen especially in those areas of the trail away from passing traffic or available help should there be a need to yell or whatever.

Those two ladies just trying to get home from the mall is for me, the last straw. I hope now the town will put a whole lot more thought into this trail and what they turn it into before it becomes a useless money pit full of hopes and dreams that have only turned to helplessness and fear.

Judi Leavitt
Laconia

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