Gaylord speaks for voiceless | Letter

It is necessary to protect the community, as well as to inspire. Freedom from addictions, mental illness and crime is a hope. Whether Randy Gaylord or Nick Power implements a therapeutic court, it would not be a utopian cure. Vote for victims advocate Randy Gaylord: compassion and expertise.

If utilized in San Juan County, a therapeutic court would demonstrate potential problems, as well as successes. Issues: volunteer participants only; difficulty staffing professionals in our small, remote population; a separate court. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

Deferred prosecution, jail time, probation, court-ordered counseling and groups requiring commitment and honesty can be successful. These are offered in San Juan County today, with Randy Gaylord, a devoted public servant holding accountable the guilty.

Existing is the medical model of chemical addiction. The medical model identifies recognizable signs and symptoms of a disease process. In the psycho/social model, addiction is theorized to be caused by psychological and social reason (i.e. loneliness or poverty). Qualifying me to write is decades of close involvement with chemically dependent individuals, who are deceased, as well as education in chemical dependency counseling.

Dual diagnose reflects the diagnosis of both chemical dependency and mental illness. In the Journal’s July 25 guest column, Power states that therapeutic courts “treat addiction as a mental health issue.” Is addiction caused by mental health? No. Neither emotions nor chemical imbalance excuse or absolve crimes. Who is accountable for character defects such as lying, thieving and murdering? Randy is under the ninth circuit court, working within the parameter of an extremely lenient legal jurisdiction, not of his making. I personally know he cares about the vulnerable and the voiceless.

Each individual must be willing to work for a clean and sober life. Acceptance into a treatment center for alcoholism can have barriers due to the lack of Medicaid acceptance, as well as health issues like pain management. The medical model of addiction is what our current system utilizes. We live in a culture of addiction. Each individual is ultimately responsible for his or her actions.

Dorena West-Mooney

San Juan Island