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Q. What is the present availability of drug treatment in
A. For a person in the Proposition 36 diversion
program to get into treatment, it could take as little as one month and as much
as six months There just aren’t enough treatment slots. An addict could die many
times over while waiting to get in. Conquering addiction is hard. Success is
most likely when motivation is strongest. Having to wait for treatment works
against success in treatment. An Alameda County superior court judge estimated
recently that the diversion program results in successful treatment in only
about 15% of cases. The long wait is certainly a causal factor.
An addict NOT
in custody of the criminal justice system is still worse off. Such a person
cannot present for treatment without confessing to the crime of being addicted!
Victims of no other disease are criminals merely for being sick. For no other
disease does our society so effectively bar access to treatment.
control” law that is so flagrantly injurious to addicts is also flagrantly
beneficial to the crime bosses. The law guarantees that the crime boss will only
rarely lose an addict, one of his most profitable drug customers. The law all
but guarantees that the indigent addict, so long as he lives, will be forced to
earn the price of a fix in service to the crime boss, selling drugs, seducing
new drug users, in thievery, or in prostitution.