I was troubled by the article in the PDN on July 12 (“Sequim community members rally at city against addiction-treatment facility”) concerning the opposition to bringing a medication-assisted treatment facility in Sequim.
There appears to be enormous misperception and lack of understanding about the critical need for this facility.
The effects addiction and mental illness have on families and children in this county is terrible.
Washington faces a daunting challenge in this arena.
Replacing Western State hospital would require $600 million to $800 million, funds the state does not now have.
Constructing local facilities for community-based care will both save money and enable people suffering from mental health and addiction issues to remain close to home and a support network of people they know.
It is not true that such a facility would be a magnet to which addicts are shipped from across the region.
This facility would serve our neighbors on the Olympic Peninsula.
A treatment facility does not put addicts on the street, it has the opposite effect.
Please consider the human side of this critical issue, versus the political side.
The largest agencies currently dealing with mental health and addiction are the hospital emergency room and the jail.
These are not the best at tackling this problem.
I commend the Jamestown S’Klallam tribal leadership, the leadership of Olympic Medical Center and Jefferson Healthcare and our state legislators for developing and managing a partnership process to bring this vitally needed facility into being.
These are real people, families and neighbors that need our help.