Education and jobs help curb addiction
I read with interest Ned Pillersdorf's commentary on letting doctors handle drug-addiction with methadone clinics or Suboxone.
Pillersdorf is an excellent attorney, however, turning the addiction problem over to Suboxone dispensers or methadone clinics or permitting these drugs in drug court is not the answer.
I see individuals paying hundreds of dollars per month for their "medication" with no end or rehabilitation in sight. This is a money-maker for these clinics or dispensing physicians. They are providing substitute narcotic drugs.
Methadone was developed by the Nazi war machine as a substitute synthetic opiate in 1937 when their supply of pain-killing narcotics was restricted. It is prescribed as a replacement for morphine and to treat opiate addiction.
The solution is education, starting in the first grade, strict drug courts, and more and better inpatient drug rehabilitation centers, with the pharmaceutical industry participating in the funding.
The final solution is incarceration at camps for labor and learning a skill through public works, including construction and cleanup, with a rehabilitation program, and then prison for those who fail to be rehabilitated,
This is an increasing problem that in some manner affects every citizen, and the dispensing of more drugs is not the answer.
David 0. Smith
Poor still without care
The Affordable Care Act in many cases has failed to live up to its expectations at providing health care to the nation's poor. This population finds premiums they are unable to pay and with a deductible that makes it unusable.
In some instances, the deductible is as high as $6,600 per individual and $13,200 per family.
The dream has become a nightmare. There has been a paradigm shift from uninsured to the underinsured.
This is problematic for free clinics. Because of marked reduction in eligibility, patient numbers have plummeted. Many of these institutions are now considering closing. We would encourage them not to close but rather make changes.
Surgery on Sunday, which provides outpatient surgery to this deserving population, has examined this problem. We have recently changed our criteria for inclusion into our program as follows: If they are within 250 percent of the federal poverty level and their deductible exceeds 10 percent of their income, they are eligible. We realize this may need further adjustment.
It is also important for philanthropic organizations to continue to support these efforts. The poor's need for access to health care has not gone away.
Andrew M. Moore II, M.D.
Patch the potholes
Great news for folks who travel the Mountain Parkway, now that it will be four lanes. I guess it's good for folks going to Pikeville and Harlan County. But so far Shaping Our Applachian Region (SOAR) has not soared our way. Actually we would just like to have patching funds to patch all the potholes we have in our two-lane roads caused by the coal trucks and blowouts.
No place to log
One-hundred-two acres of the Sherwood Forest along Knapp Avenue in Morehead were recently sold in an online bankruptcy auction. It's my understanding the buyer plans on logging it to make pallets.
Knapp Avenue is a narrow residential street without sidewalks where at any hour of the day you will see residents walking. It's also where I spent my childhood and my father still resides.
Destruction of this neighborhood forest would destroy the essence of this community. Today while visiting, I ran past deer, cardinals, blue jays, robin red breasts, even a turtle. There have also been black bear sightings.
Logging would have a tremendous negative impact on the wildlife and residents. A logging truck would take up the entire width of the street and alter the otherwise quiet, family-friendly nature of this neighborhood. This area suffered mudslides with the recent onslaught of rain. Removing the trees that hold the hillside together will only exacerbate this problem.
We need to preserve the integrity of this forest community. If we allow logging here, it sets a terrible precedent for the surrounding neighborhoods. I'd hate to see the forest and the livelihood of its residents taken away for the sake of making pallets.