, Muskogee, OK

September 18, 2013

Treatment, responsibility for addiction

— People learning to control and overcome their drug or alcohol addictions through treatment would be the best thing for society.

But it would be better if all people took more responsibility for their actions and did not create  criminal issues because of an addiction.

We are not opposed to individuals drinking or having fun.

We are opposed to people drinking and driving.

People should not blame society for their issues. They should meet them head on for the sake of society.

We believe treatment options should be explored for first-time non-violent offenders with drug or alcohol addictions.

But if a person has multiple DUIs and does not take advantage of treatment options, the only option is prison — removing him or her from society for the sake of society.

Driving while under the influence is a mistake you can’t afford to make once if it costs the life of another person.

Make the mistake once — and no one gets hurt — and society should try to help you overcome your issues.

Make the mistake multiple times and society should see you get treatment — in prison.

Only about 10 percent of those in prison receive the kind of treatment help they need.

They go in with a problem and come out with one.

That should change, too.

The state should ensure each prisoner gets help if he or she needs it.

That way the prisoner has a chance to recover while protecting society.

We understand that addiction is a disease that no one chooses.

But we know that many people with addictions have sober moments where common sense needs to take over.

If you drink, don’t drive.

If you think you may have a problem, seek help.

One alcohol-fueled excursion can take a life.

And that’s something that society should not tolerate.

Take responsibility.