President Bush statement on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and funding faith
"Now, finally, one of the most important initiatives that -- I think one
of the most important initiatives that we put forth was the faith-based
and community-based initiative.
I'll tell you why -- (applause.) I'll tell you why. You see, some of the
problems that people face are really problems of the heart. And
government can't change hearts. But hearts can be changed by loving
individuals who are inspired by something greater than government.
Take, for example -- take, for example, alcohol and drug abuse. We want
to save people's lives in America. And sometimes it requires a higher
power to help change somebody's life. You change their heart, they
change their habits. And government, therefore, ought not to fear
welcoming and opening up grants to programs whose sole -- whose sole
being is based upon faith.
In the past it wasn't that way. In the past, they -- we can't have an
interface with government and faith. And, by the way, many in the faith
community say, why do I want to interface with government. (Laughter.)
Bureaucracies cause me to lose my mission. We changed that attitude in
Washington. Over the next four years I will continue to promote this
faith and community based initiative so that we help save more lives and
provide more hope for the American people. (Applause.)"
From the White House Website
Tougher penalties continue to be the focus for all DWI legislation that
Instead of focusing on the core problem in Louisiana, we continue to
deal with "band- aids". If only those fighting for these laws
could get the truth- Tens of thousands of people in this state
need help for drinking problems, and untreated alcoholism. We need
standards in sentencing that are effective in identifying and directing
problem drinkers to solutions.
The penalty is about to get stiffer for people in Louisiana who commit
vehicular homicide while drunk or with a DWI record. House Bill 255 by
Rep. Austin Badon Jr., D-New Orleans, was signed by the governor last
week and takes effect Aug. 15. Current law says a person convicted of
vehicular homicide can be fined $2,000 to $15,000 and imprisoned with or
without hard labor for two to 20 years, with at least one year imposed
without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. The
new law extends the mandatory jail time to at least five years if the
offender has a previous DWI conviction or if the offender's
blood-alcohol level was 0.15 percent or more at the time of the
Louisiana DWI offenders Shall go to treatment! SB 679 Dies on House
The vote was 38 votes for and 62 (See
if your House Member supported you by opposing the bill here)
against the measure, largely because critics of the bill said the
current system that emphasizes treatment over jail time is working. The
Senate approved the measure 37-0 on April 20. But the House vote is what
we have been working on with our members across the state read the full
Full Article here
Thanks to our
Support Treatment for DWI remains in current law as mandate!
I was on the House floor sitting in the lobby along with others in
attendance opposing SB 679, we again filled out forms at the doors of
the House Chambers to let the members know we were there and we opposed
this bill, we spoke to our House Members, and friends to the Recovering
Community. For weeks we knew our efforts were working, the bill
stayed on a list called the "To be called" list, as the support for
final passage had been side railed with the many pleas for keeping
treatment in place. To stop the alcohol harms in this state we
must begin to focus on the core problem, a public health problem totally
gone astray creating a culture of extremes and family cycles of
Our Alerts & Your Actions Work! Email Updates June 8
Update and Actions Needed June 17 Baton Rouge Capital
The same afternoon SB 679 would come to the full House for a final vote
HB 549 by Rep Baldone passed the full Senate (Expanding treatment
for DWI to include Drug Courts). We supported Baldone's bill. The problem? The last bill signed by our Governor wins!
What this meant was SB 679 had to die on the House Floor, with just days
left in the session there would be no time to undo the damage of its
passage. The final vote on the House Floor supported the original
law in place that provides a mandate for treatment for convicted 3rd and
4th offenders see the video of the House Session and our supporters of
Leg Day 47 You may recall
this SB 679 died and came back to life in the
House Committee on Administration and Criminal Justice (HCACJ)679 Died in Committee.
We attended this hearing I spoke for our opposition, along with Gordon
Barth a New Orleans member. We were shocked to learn that the bill
we saw die came back to life after we had left the committee room. Pushing for Weeks
For weeks we have been
e-mailing, calling, and meeting with legislators, the hard work paid
off. Several members of the Legislature told me "We get it! Can
you ask your folks to back off" yet knowing that Rep Odinet fought hard
to pass this law and keep it in place because of the great results we
continued to voice our opposition. Small step in major work yet to be done----
We know those with alcohol abuse and dependence will repeat their
behavior regardless of how long you incarcerate them, how much you fine
them, or what type of gadgets they are forced to install.
Alcoholism is a disease, and treatment and recovery support should be
our priority in this state. We have been pushing for full reform
to redirect the DWI sentencing to include a public health focus and
approach. Current laws for DWI sentencing are clearly not reducing
the deaths on our highways. We need a public health focus, and
this week the Legislature responded to the thousands of requests to kill
this bill that would end a treatment mandate that actually is working.
OAD dates shows the current law and success of treatment for last
two years (See
the OAD study)
Our DWI laws need alcohol health support focus I have met with Col. Champagne from Highway Safety, along with
Michael Duffy from OAD requesting appropriate alcohol assessments and
referrals for all DWI sentencing. Mr. Duffy agreed to work out a
low cost fee schedule in the 10 regional substance abuse clinics across
the state. Col Champagne sited that the fiscal costs for those who
would need treatment referrals would kill such and effort this year.
They were both helpful and agreed we should work together to improve our
states sentencing to include alcohol health interventions. Cathy
Childers of MADD also met with us, she said she supports treatment, yet
SB 679 was a direct effort to end treatment that was proven to work.
Critics noted that, because of the 2001 law,
third- and fourth-offense drunken drivers, which are felonies, faced
less jail time than first- and second-offense violators, which are
We need to change this --but it does not mean doing away with the one
thing working to get alcoholics help--it means addressing this sooner,
and with greater support for recovery.
Thanks to the strong support from our members across the state, we
are now in a position to ask for an expansion of treatment provisions in
SB 679 to an earlier conviction, sure to save and restore lives in
Oxford Houses Under Attack by Rep Scalise despite Governors Opposition
to his Efforts based on concerns of legality.
Addiction is a disease, people recover, and the Fair Housing Act
considers recovering alcoholics and addicts a protected class
more on Addiction Science
Legally- Oxford House, recovering alcoholics, and addicts have a
right to fair housing more on
Zoning for Oxford
Executive Director of
Oxford House and
Samantha-Hope Atkins, work to support Oxford House Mary Paul
arrived in Baton Rouge last week to assist members of the independently
run Oxford Houses in Louisiana with support as those supporting recovery
and rights for "recovery" in homes across the state organized the
recovering community and supporters to oppose thee efforts of Rep
Scalise to pass legislation that clearly would violate the Fair Housing
You should watch the video of Rep Scalise on the House Floor after his
HB 1645 was essentially killed by its referral to the Senate Finance
committee with just days left in the session.
Watch the Video here from 6/18
Leg Day 48- Part2
Rep Scalise believes that local zoning ordinances
should trump the Fair Housing Act that recognizes recovering alcoholics
and addicts as a protected class.
Recovering Community Fights Legislation Rep. Steve
House Bill 1645
is aimed at
a nonprofit company that operates 31 group homes for 221 recovering
addicts and alcoholics in Louisiana. It has also helped to facilitate
more than 1000 Oxford House's start across the country and in other
Open Container Bill Sheds Light on Louisiana's Culture related to
alcohol-supported by our lax laws.
An AP article ran in papers across the state revealing part of our
state's culture that supports the pervasive nature of alcohol in our
culture. Few have any idea about the impact on communities, and
how this "its just Louisiana" culture has created problems across our
state both in public safety and public health. The one thing this
article does not talk about is how much need we have in our state, and
how little of the need for alcohol problems is met. Our state
needs comprehensive DWI reform, not just a public safety, victims
support approach. Our focus should be on ending the need for victims not
in growing this support structure. We should look to ways to end
the number offenders, not growing systems to support the growth of such
numbers. If incarceration and penalties could fix this problem, we
would not be where we are today--facing the highest rates of
incarceration in the nation. No mention was made that DWI
offenders have no opportunity to get an appropriate medical screening
for alcohol problems. This should be required, and should be a
priority. We are making progress in some areas, but the bottom
line is that our environment supports alcohol misuse, abuse, and
dependence. Our environment and culture in this state has not
shown great support for preventing, treating, and supporting recovery
for alcohol problems and addiction.
This AP running in papers across the country on the new law banning
open containers by passengers, passed in the 2004 session, article is
from the Daily Advertiser:
“In Louisiana, we drink to celebrate births and drink to mourn deaths.
We drink early and we drink late. We drink all day long for any reason.
And an awful lot of people keep drinking in a car,” said Ronnie Jones, a
former state trooper who now teaches criminal law at Tulane.
Public Health should be involved in DWI Legislation.... Louisiana does not have just a driving problem, we also have an
alcohol problem. We should not take a Public Safety "Only"
approach in policy that governs DWI offenders. The reason we face
repeat offenders, and rampant harms and death--directly correlates to
the "late stage" or non existent opportunity to intervene on alcoholics
using the courts as a vehicle to mandate appropriate alcohol screenings
and needs driven treatment and recovery services. Instead we have
a public safety only approach. There are no standards for
substance abuse screenings, interventions or treatment and recovery
support services across Louisiana. The same federal legislation
that calls for the increase in penalties also requires that an
appropriate assessment for alcohol problems be conducted, and necessary
referrals be made for treatment. I have personally requested this,
but was told the money was not there. I find that interesting
considering the fiscal note on the DWI tracking data base that totals
millions over several years. Where are our priorities? Why
is it that the agenda that supports public safety only are funded at the
blink of an eye? Meanwhile OAD-and Public Health continues to
fight to hold onto monies that only allow them to serve 8% of those with
substance abuse problems in this state. DWI problems in Louisiana
can't and won't improve until the culture, environment, and funding to
meet needs is provided to OAD, along with policy that makes use of our
courts as a mechanism for healing by interventions proven by
science to have impact in communities.
Bill Tracking DWI Offenders, Establishing Points system for youth, and a
2nd Offense DWI would face stricter penalties, but still no hope for
treatment or intervention in this legislation proposed this year by
Public Safety Officials, victims groups like MADD, and
Cathy Childers, Louisiana executive director for Mothers Against Drunk
Driving, said the bill would help deter bad drivers and provide stiffer
penalties for repeat offenders In 2002, Louisiana had 875 deaths
in traffic accidents, 413 of them alcohol-related, according to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
the entire article here
June 13 3004 New Orleans Youth-New Trend with youth and "Wicked Brew"
common tropical flower being used for cheap high.
This Times Picayune writes about a new trend in the South (New Orleans
and Florida) of kids drinking a potion to get high, made of local garden
plants. Parents are pretty alarmed considering for $1.39 at a local
plant nursery, kids can buy the necessary ingredients for this life
threatening concoction. From the story:
One teenager who drank it tried to jump off a roof, and a friend who
drank it tried to eat his own arm, thinking it was a roast beef
sandwich. Two other teens who drank it showed up nude in a neighbor's
back yard, saying they were looking for spark plugs.
Read the Story
more from New Orleans....Faith Community Uniting to confront hardest
areas social ills. Armed only with their Bibles, about 500 ministers and lay
leaders of religious congregations soon will begin hitting the streets
of New Orleans at night to confront drug-dealers and other wrong-doers.
Read the Entire Article here
17 Million in Healthcare cuts--Unbelievable impact for Louisiana!
In the midst of these
cuts, I hope you all will read the wise words of these two senators,
clearly aware of the long term savings returned by treating addiction in
our state! If you have 5 minutes today, I encourage you to write
Senator Fields, and Senator Hainkel--State
Senators' email addresses
Thank them for supporting treatment and recovery in this state!
From the Times Picayune article:
"Senators said they were interested in shifting dollars to stop some of
the health cuts. Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, said he was interested
in expanding beds in the drug treatment programs. Sen. John Hainkel,
R-New Orleans, said he thought it should be a priority to stop the
planned closure of 87 beds for women with addictive disorders who have
the entire article here
Governor Blanco-Needs you! Are you a citizen concerned about
Want to get involved in the process going on to improve public health
services in Louisiana? The only requirement to apply in your
regions of the state is that you be a willing and concerned citizen
willing to pull up your sleeves! Sound familiar?
HopeNetworks encourages you to get involved in this process, remembering
the relationship between public health crisis and preventable, treatable
is the How to from the Governor's website--to get involved now!
Alcohol Problems in our Courts -Judge removed for alcohol abuse-
Why not, alcoholism knows no boundary-
Last week the Louisiana Supreme court took action to remove a judge from
the bench. A confessed alcoholic, who has been to treatment,
clearly had relapsed, and the Supreme Court, probably is saving his life
(and the dignity of the court!) by removing him from the bench. If
anything, this event should speak volumes as to the crisis our state has
with alcohol problems."Doggett is only the second Louisiana judge
ever disciplined for behavior caused by an alcohol problem, the high
Read the entire story here
Neighbors complain about Legislative Parties
"Alcohol is just flowing in all three houses," said Marguerite Ourso, a
read the entire article
Big News for Big Tobacco, one of the wealthy Addictive Industries
in our state and across the country has been ordered by a New Orleans
Jury to "Pay up" to clean up the costs of addiction, Jury award is firs
to its kind that requires the Big Tobacco companies to pay for tobacco
treatment, $590 Million in services to be provided for smoking cessation
in Louisiana, once of course the appeal process is complete, this sends
a message to other reckless addictive industries.
Michael Duffy, is reappointed by Governor Blanco as Assistant DHH
Secretary, for the Office of Addictive Disorders!
Governor Blanco Appoints Three DHH Assistant
BATON ROUGE-- Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco today announced three
appointments to the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH). She
announced the reappointment of Michael Duffy as Assistant Secretary for
the DHH Office for Addictive Disorders-
read the entire press release here
549- Clears the Insurance Committee-Next a full Senate Vote- Thanks to many working together to end disease discrimination.
Wednesday May 12
have good news to report. On Wednesday, the Senate
Insurance committee passed SB 549. This bill removes disease
discrimination in the current law. Senator Irons advocated strongly against paid
lobbyist for business and Insurance. It is important that we now
begin to write our Senators, a list of your senators is located a the
very end of this message. (Ask them to support an end to disease
discrimination in Louisiana and to support SB 549)
Also Louisiana has passed the "Open Container" law for passengers--Goes
to Governor Blanco for Signature
News-Our Statewide Support for HB
549 that expands treatment by including a Drug Court option for
judges in sentencing, has gotten out of the House committee!
Rep. Odinet, and Rep Baldone, have been working to expand the near 70%
success rate of treating those we know are clearly in need of medical
treatment for alcohol abuse/dependence. Judge
Jerome J. Barbera III, from Lafourche Parish
also came and spoke in favor of expanding the current law to include
Drug courts. I want to
personally thank you all for the INCREDIBLE show of support. We
unlike many, are all volunteers, totally driven to improve our state's
health and safety. Needless to say, for all those who so strongly
support comprehensive community solutions to our state's alcohol related
harms, some choose not to. The seek their own agenda, not in line
with the AMA or their own National Organizations policy. We can't
change this, but we can continue to bring data and solutions forward
offering hope to the thousands in our state who need medical treatment
to change their behavior
We have gotten hundreds of e-mails upset with the entire effort to end
treatment and add more fines and fees and jail time, and I will do my
best to explain what happened or you should watch this on video in the
House Archives. WATCH THIS ARCHIVE NOW ONLINE WITH REAL
Bad News- Addictive Industries aren't the only ones with "dirty" tricks
in the Legislature.....SB 679 was not reported to
the full house- after all! We saw it killed with our own eyes!
We all felt relieved that we had put to rest angry efforts to stop
effective measures (See
the OAD study)
with DWI's (the first ever!) A bill that would end treatment (by cutting
funding currently available by mandate) came back to life thanks to
Lobbying efforts of MADD- Once Rep. Odinet was safely out of site,
they had Rep. Bruce call for a revote on a bill- KILLED in committee
Ending effective treatment SB 679 which was killed by this committee--and we believed all DWI business was
done in the Committee-however it was reheard once those who opposed
ending treatment and adding jail and penalties and fines had
left---including State Rep. Odinet, our members, and other attending
with information on treatment service success. Your support and action along with our testimony, the defense
attorney's and Judge Barbera III, initially did kill SB 679--this
bill ---then in a very unusual move -----
MADD lead this action, and has taken a very aggressive approach- she no
longer wants to work with HopeNetworks after our members contacted her
National Office expressing concerns about MADD's Chapter in our state,
and the continued effort to seek an end to effective treatment mandates.
We will continue to support the National Policy of MADD, as they
understand and advocate for comprehensive policy to address efforts to
reduce intoxicated driving in states across the country.
70% of those mandated to substance abuse treatment in the state- remain
in recovery, the alternative, is prision.
Alcoholism is a Crime in Louisiana!! (SB
must be killed to save lives!)
Despite the facts, and valid research, alcoholics continue to be
"cracked down" on by the media and others who push for incarceration
and never treatment. With clear data supporting the need, and
effectiveness of treatment and
recovery support, we continue to see alcoholics facing criminal
sanctions for having an illness.
American Medical Associations
Policy on DWI and Screenings-- Urges all states to pass legislation mandating all
drivers convicted of first and multiple DWI offenses be screened for
alcoholism and provided with referral and treatment when indicated,
and that is the amendment we wish to see added to any DWI bills in our
What does MADD say in National Policy Suggest? First time
offenders should have sentences that are designed to stop them from
re-offending and repeat offenders/high BAC drivers should be dealt
with seriously and should be required to receive intensive alcohol
treatment. (NOT JAIL TIME AS IS GIVEN TO
THOSE IN OUR STATE AT PRESENT and CLEARLY WE DO NOT PROVIDE TREATMENT
OR ASSESSMENT OR ANY STANDARD TO REDUCE RE-ARRESTS!)
Comments on the Editorial in the Times Picayune:
"This measure would restore logic to the way the state handles repeat
offenders and leave up to judges whether an offender should face
substantial jail time, treatment or a combination of both." ____________________Note____
We know that the language change in the law will cut funds for treatment
and end the success we are seeing-------------------------The proponents
of this bill know that too, they see that today there is virtually no
treatment in Louisiana compared to need---------
"Rep. Ken Odinet, who sponsored the bill that limited judges'
discretion, said he did so because he wanted to provide more treatment
options for multiple offenders. There is some merit to that idea --
anyone with multiple DWIs obviously has a substance abuse problem."
There is more than "merit" there is real data
showing a 63% reduction in recidivism by those who are chronically
alcohol dependent! Not to mention the huge savings to our state in
fiscal costs see
for Louisiana 3rd and 4th offenders showing progress in reducing
recidivism (something actually working to end alcohol dependent persons
on our highways that they want to cut!)
"But they're also breaking the law -- over and over -- and
endangering the lives of other people. Louisiana has the third-highest
highway fatality rate in the nation, and nearly half of those deaths are
linked to alcohol".
Gee could that be because they have asked for help
over and over for a disease, that requires treatment and not prison to
stop this behavior threatening both public safety and their own health
"But Sen. Chaisson has shown
that he's persistent when it comes to cracking down on drunken driving."
If only Sen Chaisson was persistent on treating
alcoholism, and early interventions, perhaps we would not lead the
nation in Alcohol related highway crashes--for anyone who has not
noticed--Prison is not an effective treatment for alcoholism. Why
would anyone cheer for a solution that is only a band-aid to our
problems with alcohol and public safety in Louisiana?
This is simply wrong
Supporting recovery is a vital component to ending the victims in our
state, yet clearly we find little support in fact direct opposition from
victim advocacy groups. Advocates for Alcoholics, to
get access to treatment are not placed in offices across the state, nor
do groups like Hopenetworks dedicated to ending addiction in our state
have the budgets to do so. We are a grass-roots network dedicated
to reducing the harms of alcohol and other addictions in our state.
At the end of the day we come back to the same truth over and over.
Plenty of money to imprison alcoholics, little to treat them or support
recovery. Despite the enormous savings in lives and dollars to our
state. Please contact the House Admin Criminal Justice committee
tell them you do not support ending treatment to those who are in need,
and that you have seen the OAD information that provides data supporting
treatment as a solution to DWI recidivism. Alcoholism is a
disease, not a crime. Not treating alcoholics should be criminal
for the damage it sets up for those who are literally without the power
to control their behavior.
It's bad enough that our laws support more jail for people with higher
BAC's and not some sort of medical treatment, it is literally
outrageous, to say "the sicker you are the more we will punish you"?
Not to mention the damage and deaths these laws are causing, I wish
someone would get mad enough to mandate treatment by health officials
for every offense of DWI--not to do so means 14,000 alcoholics are
driving with no access to treatment, and that scares me!!! When DWI is
no longer "profitable" we will see these changes, but right now with no
standards in place what else should we expect? Money rules over
public health and safety---Call your law makers them you know Prison
does not treat alcoholism, and it never has......
See related info from 2003
-Screen Treat Monitor Fact Sheet
What is NEEDED for the start of DWI Reform in Louisiana:
Amendments to current proposed DWI-legislation
mandating all drivers convicted of first and multiple DWI offenses be
screened for alcoholism and provided with referral and treatment when
indicated by a Louisiana State Board Certified Substance Abuse Counselor
or other health services provider approved by OAD.
(this creates a standard that does not exist in our current DWI law and
is vital effective interventions for problem drinkers by providing valid
screenings/assessments to those in need and appropriate referral if any)
Of the 21,000 arrested for DWI last year alone it is estimated
that 14,000 need medical treatment for alcohol abuse/alcoholism and we
have no way to identify those persons or screen and treat them today.
Report for Louisiana 3rd and 4th offenders showing progress in reducing
recidivism Report from OAD
Treatment is working for DWI
We need to move Louisiana law makers forward in supporting treatment and
recovery support. Clearly this is saving money we would be spending for
incarceration not to mention the lives that are being saved, and highway
crashes and fatalities being prevented.
. Get Ready For Thursday
we will need to appear at the capitol for this committee, this is not a
good piece of legislation, and we don't need any more deaths from
underage drinking and alcohol overdose in Louisiana. Read the Scoop on
this nightmare bill--to allow underage drinking?
Recovery Rally April 23rd, Article focused on Youth
in Recovery, and the ongoing need in Louisiana!
Alcohol, drug addicts gather at State Capitol
Update on DWI Senate Bills and Threat to Treating Alcoholics
furthering risks on our highways---HERE
of Interest for DA in New Orleans?
years have been talking about Louisiana's high rates of incarceration,
and the link to substance abuse. The talk has to
with the huge budget to prosecute, and incarcerate
individuals compared to a virtually non -existent
budget for treating and preventing addictive disorders. The
result? Louisiana leads the nation in incarceration, and virtually every
tax payer in our state pays the price. Because the systems that support
the criminal link to addiction
are so strong (lobby for law enforcement, corrections, and related
industry) and we have just begun in our efforts we should expect to see
an unbalanced system. Our voice is a vital component to a system
change in our state. Read this article and realize please, that
this can only happen where people who vote, and run communities in our
state allow it to.
For years before his retirement as Orleans Parish district attorney,
Harry Connick beat the drum for a Massachusetts company that uses hair
samples to test people for drug use. He spoke out publicly in favor of
testing students' hair and on occasion escorted its officers to meetings
with officials and opinion-shapers in the media.
all of this Times Picayune article
Governor Blanco Declares April 8--Alcohol Screening Day
OAD release & Governor Blanco's Proclamation!
up online to Volunteer with the Recovery Rally
TigerWeekly-Off Campus Newspaper writes a great story about Recovery -
This is one area -College community- I can say almost void of support
for recovery, and this article is a real eye opener and public service,
especially when you consider how little information is promoted on how
to get help on campuses across the state. I have written to
thank the editor for the willingness and insight to publish such an
Take a moment and read more here
Vigil held in memory of 40 children who died last year of neglect and
Forty Louisiana children died in 2002 as a result of abuse or neglect,
but only 25 people assembled Thursday for a candlelight vigil in their
Please"Pass on" The numbers below, or Post them for others
The hot line's volunteers provide counseling to parents as well as
information to other callers on how to report suspected cases of abuse
or neglect "I think the very soul of the
matter has to be prevention and education," said Mandy Weber, who
coordinates the toll-free Kidline -- (800) CHILDREN or (800) 244-5373 --
for Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. . Alcohol
dependent drivers are scary and need intervention, however; I find
Irresponsible Journalists, who are clearly uneducated, to be far more
This article in the Times Picayune tells a tragic story, about a young
woman killed by an alcoholic. The two had been at a bar in New
Orleans, and the fatal crash happened when he was bringing her home.
His behavior was outrageous, unacceptable, and deplorable, like many of
us when we are living addicted to alcohol-there is no excuse for such
The writer of this article, though makes a statement, that supports
a dangerous belief that alcoholics are simply "stupid" as he says.
I called this writer, and asked him about this, and he suggested I write
in if I had a problem with his article. I was shocked that he was
not interested in that the American Medical Association, World Health
Organization etc have recognized alcoholism as a primary disease.
Despise the behavior, but for God sake, get the fact right. This
mis- information fosters the treatment gap in our state, and across the
country. We need to encourage people to begin identifying this
problem, and reaching to those in need of treatment and recovery support
services- this is a must if we are to reduce the deaths and harms to
innocent victims. Alcoholics/Addicts are sick people in need of
help- and we have denied all but 8% of those treatment in this state.
If only we could crack down on funding for Alcohol Abuse and Dependence!
Meanwhile DWI's will keep being issued and we will keep trudging to make
progress in gaining expansion for the 32 medical detox beds (often a
must for alcohol dependent persons) We need a comprehensive
solution for alcohol abuse and dependence, until then Louisiana will
continue on our path of struggling to fight the consequences of not have
a real solution for people driving, working, living dependent on
alcohol. The St. Landry Parish
Sheriff's office has launched a crackdown on local drunken drivers.
Sheriff Howard Zerangue said during the operation his deputies will be
conducting checkpoints and saturation patrols to stop and ticket drivers
who violate laws such as speeding, driving while intoxicated and failure
to use seatbelts and child passenger restraints.
the entire story
DWI arrest too rough, plaintiff says, Lawyer says face pushed in gravel Wednesday March 31Staff
AMITE -- In the first day of a civil trial against a state trooper and
the Louisiana State Police, Tangipahoa Parish jurors heard two theories
Tuesday for how a former prosecutor ended up bruised and bloodied during
a DWI stop.
Joe Arthur Sims Jr. testified that when he refused to take a field
sobriety test, Trooper Barry Ward snapped and pounded him with
unnecessary force. But defense attorneys for Ward and the State Police
argued Sims invented the story and exaggerated his injuries when he
realized his political connections wouldn't free him of the DWI charge.
The trooper stopped Sims, a Hammond lawyer whose wife, Julia, sits on
the state Pardon Board, on June 3, 2000, as he drove home from a high
school class reunion. He admitted during testimony drinking several
glasses of wine and 1˝ beers over five hours.