Importance of Treatment Is Emphasized
Frankfort, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2004) - Governor Ernie Fletcher’s emphasis on providing treatment for substance abuse problems continues to pick up support among individuals and groups that see it as a way to attack the epidemic of drug abuse.
"Addiction is certainly a public health problem," said Barbara Ramlow, director of the University of Kentucky Center on Women and Substance Abuse. "I’m really pleased to see the governor’s support of treatment. Our capacity to serve people is inadequate and that's particilarly true of women."
Governor Fletcher recently announced his plans with the release of the Statewide Drug Control Assessment Summit 2004 report. The Governor emphasized the need for more treatment for drug addiction and wants to increase the number of drug treatment facilities and reduce the waiting period for patients to get into these facilities.
"It’s a great step," said Carl Leukefeld, director of the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research at UK. "We’re one of the first states to go through this process" of examining the state’s resources and determining the needs.
Leukefeld said he was impressed that the report gathered information from people who had suffered from addiction personally or through family members. He said it will be especially important to focus on young people so problems can be addressed early on.
C. Houston "Hoot" Ebert, director of the Kentucky Lawyer Assistance Program, said viewing drug addiction as a disease was a crucial step.
"Treatment is absolutely imperative to even make a dent in this epidemic," Ebert said. "Treatment is the beginning of recovery."
Ebert’s program, administered by the Kentucky Bar Association, assists attorneys with substance abuse problems.