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Letter: No Way to Treat Drug Addiction

To the Editor:

Let me see if I’ve got this right regarding your May 15 story headlined “Claremont Man Pleads Guilty to Charges From Feb. Standoff.”

This guy from Claremont, whose struggles with addiction and drug abuse were worsened during his recent incarceration (partly due to easy opioid availability in jail and partly due to an absence of adequate, appropriate treatment in jail) has been sent back, by the same judicial system, to the same criminal justice facilities, and the Sullivan county attorney (the lead driving force for the failed policies that have made Sullivan County the poster child for the failed war on drugs) says, “We hope he gets that addiction under control and comes home and has a productive life.”

What are the chances of that?

Interesting that the article mentions his “drug of choice” in jail as buprenorphine (Suboxone), clearly the most effective treatment available for opioid addiction. I have treated many hundreds of addicts with buprenorphine over the last 10 years, with 80 percent achieving significant harm reduction and freedom from dangerous illicit drug use. Fortunately for them, their families and the greater community, buprenorphine has also become their “drug” of choice.

The madness goes on, right here in the Upper Valley.

Michael E. Schorsch, M.D.

Mental Health Alliance

Lebanon

Related

‘It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine’; Claremont Man Pleads Guilty to Charges From February Standoff

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Newport — By the time Anthony Jarvis finished serving his prison sentence last September, he had a drug habit, fueled by the ready availability of opiates behind bars. And once he was free, Jarvis quickly turned to selling marijuana as a way to pay for his drug habit, his lawyer said yesterday. What happened next shouldn’t come as a surprise: …