To the Editor:Pike County's drug problem has gotten worse over the last 10 years. Heroin and oxycotin, as well as other powerful pain pills, are readily available, in addition to other illegal drugs.
Unfortunately, this problem has not been properly addressed by community leaders. That is one reason why I am supporting Steve Guccini and Dave Ruby for Pike County Commissioners in the Democratic primary on May 19. Both candidates have seen these issues first hand: Steve as a prosecutor, defense counsel, guardian for abused and neglected children and a family law mediator, and Dave as a longtime member of the Milford Fire Company and first responder.
Both candidates are advocates for a drug court, which gives a person the chance to deal with their addiction in a controlled program and, if they are successful, avoid going to jail. It is designed for non-violent offenders, and a participant's progress is closely monitored by the court. It can help break the cycle of addiction and save money at the same time by avoiding the costs of incarceration.
Most drug addicts and alcoholics are not bad people. They have a disease that needs to be treated and then controlled for the rest of their lives. Criminal punishment has not been effective in addressing their real problem, which is why they are often repeat offenders. Intervention can often save lives, keep the prison population down, and keep families together, if the addict is given the chance.
I know this from personal experience, as I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict with over 35 years of continuous sobriety. With the help of another lawyer, I avoided a criminal record and getting disbarred by going into rehab. As a result of that intervention, I have been blessed with a wonderful family and a good career. For 27 years, I have served on the State Bar Association's Lawyer Assistance Committee and just recently stepped down as its chairman. The Committee educated the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and other lawyers on the benefits of treatment and in 2006 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court formally recognized the benefit of drug courts.
Steve Guccini and Dave Ruby know what our county needs and will serve all of its residents, including those that need help for addiction. They also have other good ideas outlined at www.RubyGuccini.com. Please vote on May 19 and encourage your family and friends to get to the polls, too.
Anthony WaldronCampaign Chairman