Re: Addiction clinic reports

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To the editor:

There is an epidemic in America that kills more young people than cars, guns or cancer. It strikes all races and all ages. The rich, poor and middle class suffer alike. Beyond human suffering, this epidemic costs America more than $100 billion every year.

There is no vaccine, but there are effective treatments.

And with treatment, the victims of this epidemic can return to normal lives with jobs, family and friends.

Could any moral person refuse medical care for this disease? If the disease were diabetes or heart disease or lung cancer, the answer would be, “No.” But if the disease is drug addiction, many of us can and do say the patients should be left to suffer — should be denied treatment — should be told that they brought it on themselves. That is not the right way.

It is not the Christian way and it is not the legal way to deal with people seeking treatment for drug addiction.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about Express Health Care coming to Jacksboro. It has been said that Express Health Care is a methadone clinic and that there will be “syringes in the streets.” None of that is true. Express Health Care does not prescribe or dispense methadone. It is understandable that some people are concerned. But, when you know the facts, you will see there is no reason for fear and every reason to calmly wait and see how your new neighbor fits into the community.

Express Health Care is a medical office with licensed physicians and qualified staff that provides primary care to its patients. It is like any other doctor’s office, except many of its patients are being treated for addiction to opioid drugs like hydrocodone, oxycodone, Percocet, Opana and other painkillers.

Some are in treatment for heroin addiction. All of its patients have one thing in common — they have decided to stop being addicted and to take back their lives. It is not an easy road for them, but it is one they have a right to take.

Each patient will come to Express Health Care once a month. They will be drug tested to assure they are not using illegal drugs and they will be counseled by their doctors about the next step along the road to sobriety.

Express Health Care does not keep nor dispense any medication from its office. In kindness and decency, these patients should be allowed to visit their doctors in peace. As long as they do not break the law, they should be allowed to come and go freely. It is the right thing to do. It is the Christian thing to do and it is the law. Yes, it is the law. Federal law requirese that as long as these patients are not taking illegal drugs, they should not be harassed or discriminated against.

Give them a chance.

Express Health Care is opening its office in Jacksboro soon.

Don’t let rumor and fear win.

Express Health Care will be a good neighbor and a benefit to our community.

Lori Barnett, R.N. Administrator Express Health Care, PLLC



To the editor:

I, as a citizen of Campbell County, cannot fathom why it is such a bad idea — and why the rest of the county is making it into such a mockery — to have a place where people with real addiction problems can go to get help.

The [Express Health Care] treatment center accepts these patients who come in wanting relieved of their addiction. If some patients “dupe” the doctor, it is not the doctor’s fault.

A few bad apples shouldn’t spoil an entire tree.

The county didn’t seem to have a problem with the pain management places calling Campbell County their home.

Our county complains about the “drug problem,” but when a facility comes in to help these people with an addiction, you discard, disgrace and kick them out of town.

I also read the comment in the paper, “If it is not a harmful drug, why is it being sold on the street?”
Because of counties such as ours making it so hard for a treatment center to set up and insurance companies making it so expensive.
It is an expensive doctor’s visit and even more expensive to get the medicine a patient’s needs.
The insurance companies only cover so much.
So how can a person with an addiction problem get help when everything about any treatment program is so expensive?
A person with a drug addiction is not always who we are quick to put a label on, a “junkie.”
There are many different types of people with addiction problems, such as different races, backgrounds, religions, ages, sexual orientation and all walks of life — there is usually one in every family.
I am not or nor against either the treatment center for addiction, nor the pain management centers.
All I am suggesting is to give them a chance, don’t dismiss them before they even open their doors or before we are all reading about another overdose or a robbery for someone to get a quick fix.

An optimistic apple,
Amber Lamb,