The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 21, 2014

Readers' Forum 1-21 | Where is treatment, control of drug abuse?

JOHNSTOWN — The abominable increase in the use and abuse of addictive substances needs to be sensibly addressed by the American people and their servants, elected or appointed. Political responses are useless and tend to be malignant.

We all know that, like most wars, the war on drugs has been a dismal failure. Indeed, it has spawned a large and profitable subculture able to flex its muscle in the political arena, influencing many elected servants of the people to perform as minions of their special interests.

Enough of legalizing dangerous substances for recreational use.

Likewise, increased incarceration with increased police activity has resulted in horrible abuse of the “system,” along with the devastating squandering of public funds.

Effective rehabilitation opportunities for the addict are admirable, but rare. (The key words are “effective” and “opportunities.”) Unfortunately, the assumption that addition is a disease has caused many professionals to concentrate their efforts on treating it as such.

Thus, they fail to recognize that addiction is frequently a devastating effect of self-treatment or iatrogenic mistreatment of a misdiagnosed or simple missed source of pain or malaise of psychiatric, neurologic, psychologic, sociologic, traumatic or whatever underlying pathology.

Most important is to educate today’s youth as to the use and abuse of all natural and chemical substances. Explain and show to them the fallacies exhorted by their elders and many gurus.

Sam Contakos


Council conveniently avoiding issue

After reading the editorial “Contentious council,” published Jan. 12, I can’t help but wonder what are the key issues (votes) coming up that none of the council members mentioned/addressed?

If each council member addressed those issues, it might at least clear the air.

What’s the big secret? Hopefully, The Tribune-Democrat staff will ask this question in future contacts with the council members.

Also, why does it appear certain people are not being considered even though they expressed interest?

James E. Hedglin


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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