I agree with President Bush. Let me repeat that, I agree with President Bush

President Bush has signed the "Second Chance Act” into law – a re-entry program that helps convicted felons transition back into society and provides additional federal funding to reduce prison populations by creating job training programs, along with substance abuse and family stability support for people under the DOC supervision (Including probation).

Bush has admitted that he used to have a drinking problem which he was able to beat with a ‘Higher Power’. “I quit drinking, and it wasn’t because of a government program. It took something a little more powerful than a government program in my case…I was a product of a faith based program.”

While I absolutely believe that it would take something “a little more powerful” to change Bush – for most of us, having a place to pause, to learn about our addictions and ways to deal with it, and to realize that we are not alone in this and that it can be beaten;

To be given hope,

Is enough to open the door of faith that addiction’s denial had held shut so tightly for most of us.

And once that door is cracked, we start to have a conscious contact with God.

We start to follow a faith based program:

Finding God, cleaning house and helping another human being.

The state of Florida wants to cut off funding for substance abuse programs for the Dept, of Corrections.

Not cut.

Cut off.

End the funding completely.

I agree it will save money.

For now.

But it will cost so much more in the long run.

Will cause so much more of a drain on our society;

Because instead of having sober, truly happy people, who having learned to walk through things we used to drink or get high to avoid facing,

Or feeling,

Instead of having people who are working, going back to school, trying to help themselves with a new found confidence and belief in themselves, living a spiritual principle of trying to help another human being, paying taxes, buying cars and houses and tv’s;

Contributing to our society and our economy.

What we will have are people still with addictions, and no belief that it can be any different. Who, unable to get/hold down a job, will continue in criminal ways to survive; going in and out of jails, prisons and institutions.

Then there are the health care costs.

We addicts and alcoholics cause immense damage to our bodies from the substances we ingest. It will have to taken care of someday.

By somebody.

Rigorous honesty? I have 5 teeth that need root canals. I can’t afford it (or the insurance), but I am saving for it (and the insurance).

They’ve gotten so bad because when I was in active addiction – I didn’t care about my health.

I certainly wasn’t going top spend any money that could go to drugs or alcohol on it.

When something got too bad, I went to Jackson; Miami’s public hospital.

On the public’s money.

I know I need 5 root canals because I went to a dentist.

My dentist.

That I paid for.

When I was in prison I had a number that I was known by;

It was my DOC number.

Now I have a different number;

It is my social security number.

I like it better.

“…Everybody matters," added Bush, "We believe that even those who have struggled with a dark past can find brighter days ahead. One way we act on that belief is by helping former prisoners who've paid for their crimes — we help them build new lives as productive members of our society."

This is probably the first time I’ve agreed with President Bush.

Florida should, too. Treatment works.

Trim the funding if you have to, Florida,

Don’t carve it out.

peace

Charlie G

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