Editor,

I am grateful for this place I call home. Our county, as well as surrounding counties, are awesome places to raise families.

Even still, we have a huge problem that is just not getting any better. The problem I am speaking of is drug addiction. I have interviewed countless people who are addicts and the common denominator is that none of them want to be addicts.

The quote I have heard over and again is “I hate it when I am on dope and I hate it when I am not,” there is not one of them who chose to be addicts. Yes, I know it started with a choice but then that choice came back with a vengeance The results are not what anyone wanted.

My point is this– without treatment or some other intervention, addiction will not get any better and countless lives will not get better and remain unchanged.

Our judges do a great job but unfortunately, they do not have a lot of latitude in sentencing. The sentencing guidelines are in the hands of those elected officials in Montgomery. The truth is that jail does not help an addict. The crimes committed warrant incarceration but even that does not help the addict get clean and equip them to stop this addiction, which should be the goal.

I would love to see the judges be given the authority to sentence those convicted of drug crimes, (not including trafficking or distribution), to in-patient, faith-based treatment programs. The statistics exist to show that these type of treatment programs have a great success rate in helping people get clean of their addictions. When addicts get clean, the cycle stops, children get their parents back and parents get to enjoy their children once again. When addicts get clean, society wins.

Our judges need this authority and I know and trust them to use this authority wisely because they, too, want to see addicts get clean as well.

Craig White, Rainsville

Send letters to the Times-Journal by writing P.O. Box 680349, Fort Payne, AL 35968. Fax 256-845-7459. Email kbeaty@times-

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