Addiction is a disease; not a crime.

I want to share with you a growing, catastrophic problem that affects everyone and ask that you help us make a difference.  For 40 years the US government has been executing on their declaration of war against drugs.  After one trillion spent, there is no improvement in the problem.  The drugs are getting more available, cheaper, and more deadly.

We believe that the approach to drug addiction is not criminalization but treatment instead.  Putting someone in jail for possession does not solve the problem of addiction.  In fact, research proves that once released the convict returns to a life of addiction 67% percent of the time.

Crime, divorce, financial ruin, accidents, reduced productivity, violence, abuse and death are often associated with drug addiction.  Death rates are on the increase as more potent drugs enter the market.  Drug experimentation is starting younger too with 13-year-old kids being introduced by friends and siblings.  Heroine is at epidemic levels, with overdoses increasing. So, since the war on drugs is a failure, what can be done? 

We need a seismic shift from “punishment of an offender” to “treatment of someone with a disease.”  This includes a period of time within a treatment center and upon exit a support system to keep an individual on track and involved in an active recovery program, putting their sobriety first.

To succeed in a post-treatment program, an active recovery program includes daily meetings with peers, multi-weekly meetings in group therapy, access to a peer counselor as needed being a text or phone call away, and counseling.  In addition, mental health care would be initiated to ensure that brain chemistry is not the cause of the disease.  Counseling is to learn new coping skills with problems so that substance abuse isn’t the solution it once was to avoid dealing with issues.

Start Over Fund plays a role in this process of assisting an individual from active addiction to active recovery.  We provide trained and certified Peer Counselors on the ready to meet with, assess and direct addicts to resources and to continue that relationship through the recovery process.  The Peer Counselor also assesses financial need.  Often addicts have shame about needing help including financial help.  They may or may not have money and SOF fills the gap between social resources (Department of Health & Social Services, local community service groups, churches, friends/family).

We fund anything that isn’t covered by insurance as well and will help with vouchers and prepaid services such as childcare, housing, detox, treatment, medications, personal items or transportation, as needed.

This is why we ask for your help to grow our Certified Peer Counselors and the budget to get drug users off the street and into a treatment program that works.  This will also keep them out of jail.

We know you care about the future your family will face.  Reducing drug abuse will improve the outlook for our communities, reduce the burden on incarceration for drug offenses, and save many lives.

Please find the enclosed envelope to place your check.  We appreciate your donation.  If you would prefer, you can visit our website and donate online –  Again, thank you so much for considering our request for support of Start Over Fund.

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