Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Petition Update: A Few Signatures Gained

I was surprised to find in my inbox an email from Change dot org where our petition is listed to say that the petition has picked up some more signatures.

For those who don't know and for those who have forgotten, last year after we held the Memorial and Vigil at 750 Baltimore St. we started a petition for a treatment center here which reached out to City and County Officials alike in Martinsburg and Berkeley County, WV

In May we turned the petition in to the City Officials at a council meeting. Soon after that city meeting we learned about the Community Recovery Resource Center which would open here. We made plans for a day to deliver the petition to the county but shortly thereafter the county pulled out their plans of making 750 Baltimore St. a treatment center.

Their decision to do that stung so many of us who were hoping and praying to see this treatment center a reality for our own local people suffering from addiction. After that decision, the petition took flight once again and more signatures poured in.

I never pulled the petition down. It is still there. I have no plans of taking it down because we need a treatment center here. There is no treatment on demand here in our county. When someone is ready for help there needs to be a bed for them at that very moment. The clock starts ticking the minute they reach out for help. We on this side know this is only a short time because they can quickly change their minds, and it is often at that time while waiting on a bed so many have died from this drug.

There is nothing here so those affected by this addiction have to go many miles away- four, five, six and more hours just to get a bed. Those beds have waiting lists. How many of our own locals have lost their lives just waiting on a bed or a ride to get help?

Where this addiction is concerned, why are we still treating our people in shame? Why do we have to send them away like in the days when the young unwed pregnant women went away to have their babies because of the stigma on their family?

Shame and Blame has never been the answer to any problem- ever. I don't deny our Officials are paying attention and that there are things now in place that is needed. The Resource Center, The Day Report Center, The Drug Courts, The Detox Center which is coming soon- all of that is needed but the very first step in treatment is a bed and a treatment center.

You can read the petition Mayor of Martinsburg and Berkeley County Officials: We Need A Treatment Center

At the bottom you can also read the responses from those who have signed it. Often when I think about this epidemic, our community, those suffering, the families, the petition Dylan Thomas' poem comes to mind,

"Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light" ~Dylan Thomas

Words to the poem by: Dylan Thomas who wrote this poem in 1947 for his dying father
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