Treatment better way to beat drug problem

*Treatment better way to beat drug problem *Grateful for support at loss of son, wife *Two simple wa
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Treatment better way to beat drug problem

With the war on drugs becoming increasingly widespread, especially given the recent spike in heroin use, it is time to rethink the federal laws that may be failing our citizens.

Many Americans are not aware that the United States holds about 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population, despite having less than 5 percent of the entire world’s population.

Additionally, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, nearly half of these offenders are in for drug-related offenses. While it is a systemic issue that these people often do not receive the treatment they need while in jail, underlying problems also exist that affect the nation on a broader level.

In 2007, it was estimated that the costs of drug abuse in the United States reached about $193 billion. Of that figure, about $120 billion was due simply to losses in productivity. Roughly $61 billion was spent on criminal justice costs, with only $11 billion being put toward health care treatment costs.

While enforcement costs are undoubtedly important, I would argue that more should be spent toward health care and treatment. By tackling the underlying problem, we could potentially shift the way drug abuse is viewed throughout the nation. Fixing the root cause could save money in the long-term, as the expenses paid and losses in productivity that affect the country would surely decline.

Maddy O’Rourke

Slingerlands

Grateful for support at loss of son, wife

Last week was Crime Victims Week, a time when my awareness of other families that have gone through tragedies is heightened.

I am all too aware of my own, having lost my son at the hands of another 14 years ago, then losing my wife in a DWI accident four years ago.

I don’t mean to diminish the loss of a loved one, but the sudden and untimely death of an incomplete life has a profound effect on you and many more people than you would expect. The support that people show for each other during these times is quite important to the mental well-being of those left behind.

I am not the same man as before, but would not like to think of whom I would have become had it not been for the love and support of strangers. Many of them are strangers no longer.

Thank you to all that have been there in mind, body and spirit. I know the numbers are many. My heart and prayers go to all of you.

Hans Walter

Scotia

Two simple ways to save Social Security

I may be trying to push a rope here, but the solution to Social Security funding is blatantly simple.

Raise the maximum amount that salaries are taxed to whatever ceiling is needed to make the system whole again and have Congress, as part of the bill, make those monies “untouchable” for anything other than funding Social Security.

This way, the lower-income people are not affected at all and the liberals can smile because the wealthier people and businesses will pay a little more.

Gene Richards

Amsterdam

Independent voters best go with Sanders

I have always been an independent voter because I have always voted for leaders that, I thought, would be best for the nation.

I think that today, being independent-minded is a lot more necessary because of our present political climate has become poisoned, blind, deceitful and self-serving. In other words, our government has become ineffective because politicians can’t and don’t want to compromise in order to do what’s best for our country. That is why many people have given up on our government. In the last five to 10 years, it has become ridiculous and unsustainable. It can’t go on any longer.

Many of our leaders are blind/greedy. They aren’t doing what is best for our nation, but are instead doing all they can for the special interest groups, lobbyists and corporations. That is why voters are disappointed and will choose either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. I don’t blame them.

But I will support Sanders. He has been consistent all of his life. He has always been on the side of the middle class and the workers, and he has told us, many times, what he will do for America.

Trump is a wild card. He is unpredictable, disrespectful and unfortunately an ignorant individual who instigates hate and violence.

Ottavio Lo Piccolo

Schenectady

Categories: Letters to the Editor

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