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Letter to the Editor: New Pieces of the Drug Puzzle

To the Editor:

Re: Adjusting Drug Policy (editorial, Feb. 27)

For years, drug treatment experts have argued for more money to be spent on demand reduction over interdiction and enforcement, and for years, study after study has supported their argument that treatment is the most cost-effective approach to reducing drug use.

Perhaps President Bush can reassure nervous supporters wary of looking soft on crime that treatment is far from the easy option for addicts. In particular, long-term residential treatment is a rigorous, demanding and life-changing experience. In addition to abstinence, family integration, job readiness and social values are fundamental outcomes. Has this ever been a claim for most prison systems?

Peter Provet
President, Odyssey House
New York, Feb. 27, 2001

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