Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

October 12, 2012

Letters to the Editor 10/13/12


Corsicana Daily Sun

— Disagrees with action

To the Editor: I am writing in response to the article “MHMR fails before council “on the front page of the Corsicana Daily Sun on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. ...

Within the article on the City Coouncil meeting was the approval of a Specific Use Permit for the Remington to have a private club in order to serve alcoholic beverages.  Though legal, Alcohol is the drug of choice to self-medicate for many people.  Another statement made was, and I paraphrase, these services are needed but not in my area.  That is such an overused excuse.- Where do you want it-in an area that is totally inaccessible to anyone who needs help ?

I was the Executive Director of Navarro County MHMR Center for 20 years. For over 15 years, the Center was located at 920 N. Main St. which was at the corner of Main St. and Ave. F. Our close neighbors included two day care centers, a dance studio, a pharmacy, numerous residences, a gymnastics business, Brookshire’s, (where you can now buy beer and wine) and the State agencies within the Navarro Mall.  

These businesses were within a block of our building. For the entire time we were in that location we provided substance abuse counseling, as well as a full range of services to persons with mental illness. Some of our services were provided in the evening. We never received complaints from any neighbors because our clients were causing problems or loitering in the area.

This is a badly needed service in our community — a void that has stifled the road to recovery for many people. The limited choices are AA, NA or seeing a private therapist licensed to treat substance abusers.

Many studies are conducted yearly to estimate the cost of alcohol and drug abuse on society.  One recent joint study  by three federal agencies dealing with alcohol and drug abuse issues projects that the cost to society for alcohol and drug abuse is $965 for each for every man, woman and child in the United States.  

Based  on the 2000 Census, Navarro County has a population of 45,124. Using these figures,   the cost to Navarro County is $43,544,660 yearly in economic impact on Navarro County.

This is an issue that is already in your neighborhood, and mine.

We can’t change that impact without treatment options.

Sincerely,

Julie Lang

Former Director, Navarro County MHMR Center



To the Editor: I am writing to express my disappointment in the "rally" to keep a substance abuse program out of a certain area in town.

I have been a social worker in town  17 years and have seen the need for a program such as this many times.  As far as I know, there is no such program in Navarro or Ellis County.

In looking over the petition, I see names  (of) people who see children removed from families due to substance abuse, people who work with disabled individuals and people who know first hand the extent of this problem....

Some have already requested their names be removed from the petition stating they were misled.  I would be willing to bet that this problem, substance abuse, has touched every person on that list in one way or another.  

The idea that people who need this help are "undesirable" is offensive and discriminatory. It is my hope that those of you who feel you were misled and signed this petition will contact the city and ask that your name be removed.  

It is also my hope that this program will become a reality and those who badly need this service will not be too ashamed to seek help.  I urge all of you who believe this type of program is needed, to let your voice be heard.

 Thank you,

 Debbie Richardson, LMSW