Asks change for mentally ill

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDSeptember 25, 2013 

I applaud the letter to the editor Sept. 6 and could not agree more. Instead of just locking up mentally ill people, why don't we actually put some effort and money into getting them appropriate treatment? Why put them in jail, only to have them released with the same mental problem that got them locked up to begin with, with the end result that they are arrested again and again?

Sick inmates need medical care, not jail, and they need real medical care, not synthetic psychotropic drugs to merely suppress their symptoms.

The "Just Drug 'em!" approach is an enormous failure, with a proven recovery rate of just .0005 percent (Second Annual Report of King County Ordinance No. 13974). Sick inmates deserve the kind of mental health care that has a 90 percent recovery rate for acute cases, and a 50 percent recovery rate for chronic cases. It's called "orthomolecular medicine."

The U.S. is experiencing a mental health crisis for good reason: the "Just Drug 'em!" approach doesn't work!

Our police and correctional officers are on the front lines, risking their lives in dealing with mentally ill people every single day. They deserve better. Sick people deserve better. Taxpayers deserve better. The solution is right at our fingertips: we just have to face the fact that our current drug approach is quackery and it needs to be replaced.

Linda Santini

Bellingham

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