I’m angry that our young women continue to die of drug addiction, and we don’t have enough treatment facilities to help them adequately.

I’m angry that these young women are incarcerated instead of placed in long-term drug rehabilitation to receive the treatment that they need. I’m tired of meeting these young women who say they are still addicted and won’t be able to make it on the outside without help. I’m tired of meeting them again at the Kennebec County Correctional Facility or reading their obituaries in the newspaper.

Is anyone else tired and angry about this?

While we need to stem the tide of drugs and do more to prevent addiction, we are not meeting the needs of young women and men who lose their lives to this disease. There is much about this issue now in the local paper and on the TV news, but that doesn’t help those who need the help now. We can talk about what should be done, but it’s now that we need action.

There are corrections officers and legislators who understand this issue, and I’m sure they also are frustrated that we are not funding treatment for this disease as we would for any other. I believe we need a groundswell of people who demand and support change that will allow for long-term treatment for addiction.

I agree that if laws are broken, time needs to be served, but why not, at the same time, provide the treatment needed for the disease that often causes the crime?

Instead, by our inaction and community silence, these young people often end up with a death sentence.

The Rev. Mary Bourque, deacon

St. Matthew’s Church, Hallowell

Program director for Walk with Me: The Journey,

a mentoring program for women at KCCF

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